||Maui Readers Publishing
When Louise disappeared at three what Lilia went through to see her again is a riveting story of love. This mother decided that there was no other option but to raise her daughter even if it meant living in hell. What ensued was a tumultuous series of hair-raising choices that would take Lilia through Canada to Sri Lanka, California, and eventually Maui. The story has the pace of a thriller that takes the reader through the events of a lifetime.
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Maui Readers Publishing
Maui Readers Publishing
In 1965, Lilia immigrated to Canada, from the Philippines with $100 in her wallet and a one way ticket to Toronto. Three years after, she found herself teaching high school in Chatham, a small agricultural town in Southern Ontario.
She met Ron, an engineering student who seemed to have a promising future. She accepted his proposal thinking that he was a good catch—better than her friends’ husbands. Shortly after their wedding, Lilia realized that she made a mistake. Her husband was the worst among her friends' better-halves—he was a philanderer, an abuser, and could not keep a job.
Lilia's 20-year saga began when Ron kidnapped their three year-old daughter Louise after he learned that she had hired a divorce lawyer. When Lilia discovered that both Ron and Louise were in Sri Lanka, she made up her mind that her daughter's life was worth risking everything she had, including her own life. She traveled to Sri Lanka to see Ron and her daughter. There Lilia realized that she could not be with Louise without reconciling with Ron. She decided to live in hell in order to rear and protect her.
One tumultuous event after another did not discourage Lilia from her purpose; not even when Ron used Louise’s name to commit fraud. Louise was turning 20 at that time and a third year university student. But for without Lilia’s unwavering faith, strength, and willpower, Louise could have been incarcerated for this despicable act.
God’s grace and Lilia’s faith gave this story a happy ending. Lilia is now happily married to Mati Rahman and both are living in Maui. Louise has a rewarding career with one of the well-known computer companies in the U.S.
From the living room window, I watched Ron as he placed Louise on the car seat beside him. My heart dropped as he drove off leaving exhaust smoke in his wake, indicating that he was in a hurry. I knew it already—he was anxious to leave, never to return.
. . .I felt good when I saw the time: three in the afternoon. I felt a little light of hope in my heart. She’ll be back soon, I whispered.
I anxiously awaited until six o’clock, the time stipulated in the court order. Ron was supposed to drop her at the house at six but there was no Ron and Louise. Each time the clock ticked, I was more and more convinced they were already far, far away from me. Worry, anger, and helplessness alternately filled my heart and stomach. Totally helpless, I turned to God to vent my anger, Lord, why have you allowed this to happen? What did I do wrong? I asked.
Still hoping and giving Ron the benefit of the doubt, I waited. I stretched my neck towards the street that crosses Kirckaldy Place to see if his car was coming. It was still daylight at eight thirty in July, so I sat by the living room watching the cars drive by. The minutes quickly passed and there was still no sight of Ron and Louise. My heart beat faster as the clock announced that another hour had passed. At ten in the evening, I was already hysterical. I called the police, but they were not helpful, nor comforting. “Ma’am I can’t help you now,” said the officer. “We have to wait for 24 hours and then file for a missing person’s report.” I said, “But sir, this is kidnapping, my custody order says that he has to return her to me after five hours. He should have returned her four hours ago—”
He interrupted, “Ma’am, he has as much right to her as you do. Now you calm down and go to sleep. They’ll be back soon, or tomorrow.”
“When will you file for missing person report? “Not until after 24 hours.”
“I have to wait for 24 hours! They could have flown to Sri Lanka by then!” . . . (pp. 124-125)
. . . Amid this process, a horrendous episode in Louise's life exploded. I had set aside my worry about Ron's business because of the tension in the church--until one early Friday evening when Louise called me. She and Franz were in Yellowstone National Park where they were camping. She was crying and sounded very distressed. "Mom, Lance called to tell me there's an outstanding warrant of arrest for me and my dad."
My heart dropped; my fears were confirmed. . . All along my thinking had been that Ron's offense was against the IRS, I had not expected my daughter to be implicated to the point of having a warrant out for her arrest.
. . . What is the warrant for? Do you know the details?"
"Mom, they're accusing Dad and me of scamming Medical. Mom, I don't want to be arrested, and I do not know what to do."
"Have you spoken to your father?" "Yes, and he wants me to go to Sri Lanka where he is right now."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing: a father using his only child as a cover for his crimes, and then running.
. . .At about half past midnight Ron called back. I confronted him angrily as to why he used Louise to commit fraud. "Didn't you know that sooner or later you would be caught and Louise would be in trouble? You have to come back and get her out of the trouble she's in. She is your only child; you have put her in this dangerous situation, now you have to get her out . . .
His answer was so outrageous, it literally made me sick to my stomach: "Shit up stupid! I know what I am doing and don't tell me that I should admit to any thing. Nobody can make Ron Karu admit to anything. Louise and I will never go to jail! . . . "Lily, you must listen to what I am going to tell you. As soon as Louise contacts you, give her some money, and buy her a ticket . . . (page 282)
For the Sake of Louise
1. "This is the story of the unbelievable lengths a woman will go to protect herself and her daughter from outrageous and unforgivable spousal and paternal abuse. And, yet, it is an ultimate act of forgiveness that allows this woman, as William Faulkner once put it, to not only forgive but prevail. This is one of the most compelling memoirs I have ever read. I read it with my mouth hanging open. I could not put it down."
Cathy Smith Bowers, Poet Laureatte of North Carolina, Author of "The Love That Ended Yesterday in Texas," and "The Candle I hold up To See You"
2. "This book is an honest and transparent reflection on the spiritual journey of someone who traveled the long and difficult road from pain to growth, from profound hurt to forgiveness, from the agony and anxiety of living in a strange land to finding a home of fulfillment and a haven of peace. . . Ms. Lilia Lopez-Rahman has been most admirable transparent not only in sharing her deeply intimate reflections that have proven to be enormously cathartic."
Benoni Silva-Netto, Ph.S., Professor of Pastoral and Counseling and District Superintendent, Shasta District, The United Methodist Church
3. Abuse in any form strikes the very core of our being. In her book, Rev. Lilia Lopez-Rahman describes the experience of abuse she and her daughter, Louise endured for over 20 years. Most meaningful to others is her courage through faith, hope, and love which helped provide their healing process." Cindy Schumacher, Contributing Writer, Maui Weekly News
4. Domestic abuse whether physical or emotional, has long lasting effects on the spouse and children victims. Victims may seem to function well as we may not see the physical scars. Yet we do not realize the internal turmoil that continues long after they left an abusive environment. . . It is a must read story that gives hope and inspiration not only to immigrants and battered women but to everyone."
Lena Lorenzo, ACSW, LSW, Director, Victim/Witness Assistance Division
Department of the Prosecuting Attorney
5. Lilia's story of survival and abiding faith makes me regain my own belief in the power of prayer. In her daughter's case, psychotherapy played an important role in easing the burden of childhood trauma. . . I was holding my breath that the next page would bring forth a miracle that the perpetrator would show an ounce of humanity. Instead her hope just kept springing eternal, her strength and courage oozing out of her fiber . . ."
Cornelia A. Soberano, LLB
Social Worker, State of Hawaii, Community Organizer, and Co-founder, Maui Filipino Working Group
6. "For the Sake of Louise is a raw and candid account of one mother's difficult and prolonged struggle with domestic abuse. It is a powerful story of profound personal sacrifice, commitment, survival, unconditional lve, and--in the end--the fulfillment of human potential. There are lessons for everyone here."
David Randall, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, Hawaii
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Reader Reviews for "For the Sake of Louise"
|Reviewed by Lilia Lopez-Rahman
|Holiday’s greetings !! May The Allmighthy keep you both and your Families under His protection in the coming year and many after that.
I have completed the reading of “ For the sake of Louise “ which, I must say, kept my attention all the way to the end . Its contents will stay with me for a long time.Thank you Lilia for having had the courage and humility to make us discover what unfortunately happens in many partnerships, but not too many had the strength to face it and come up stronger. But I absolutely feel this book of yours could help many !I have mentioned the book to my family and friends. My wife and daughters -in- laws want to read it next.Also a fellow in the elevator business, Allan Heeps of True Canadian Elevator in Pickering, whose wife is a social worker dealing with this kind of situation,may want a copy. I’ll pass on your co-ordinate to him.
Enjoy your Hawaii weather for us all!