11/19/07

transitions

only several pages into edwidge danticat's memoir, brother, i'm dying i'd become scared--for the children who are left behind when mothers and fathers emigrate to another country to prepare a better life of which they hope their children can soon become a part; for those same parents whose only communication with their children become formal monthly letters, money orders, and static-filled phone calls riddled with awkward, painful pauses; again, for those children who themselves will become immigrants and must then reconcile longing for the old world with demands of the new one, in those tender years when pleasing parents who have suffered seems the only way; and still, for those children who, as they become older, become like parents to their own parents, as the dynamics of the new world require a re-imagining of familial traditions; and finally, for the realization that when a loved one is dying, whether here or abroad, there is little we can do but love, and wait.

then on page 249: "of the many ways that death might transform the love that the living had experienced, one of them should not be fear." edwidge danticat, brother, i'm dying.

2 comments:

Sherry said...

What poignant thoughts. It seems so incredible to those of us who live in this part of the world..to imagine leaving your children behind to set up a new life. It's just incomprehensible to me. But it happens every day.

Carleen Brice said...

powerful stuff!