Sometimes I thought of it as war reparations. On the outwardly civil but quietly vicious battlefield of my parents’ divorce, I had been the clear loser.
Before I visited the Partition Museum, I had a sense that all the years of self-erasure could be undone if I just heard, watched, read enough. Now I’m beginning to rethink that strategy.
“I realized I had to change or I was going to lose you,” my mother told me. “So I did.”
My father was missing. How could I put him back in the picture?
When my grandfather threatened to kill himself, I began to wonder if, as he sees it, he has effectively stopped living.
When fighting on behalf of the father you love, who do you become?
Being disabled means hundreds of thousands of people believe they always know better than you do.
When you give birth to a life, you are also giving birth to a death.
If cancer and trauma are hereditary, is it not my responsibility to do everything in my power to ensure neither my children nor I have to suffer?
With words, spelled correctly or not, I could say exactly how I felt: like my head was a ball of snakes, like something extraordinary for once.
My family isn’t religious, but we have a saying that we do believe in my grandfather. And an essay he wrote about me reminds me to believe in myself.
“Not thinking about these things doesn’t make them go away. So, instead, I choose to look. It is staring into a dim room and letting my eyes adjust to the dark.”
Papa left the summer I turned eight. The emotional toll of a wife who blamed him was too much to carry along with the burden of repatriating thousands of Filipino citizens.
“The nurse sucked the last of his water world out of him. And then the cry, a goodbye to that wet planet.”
My kids have been kicked out of many, many places for being different—just like I was.
When she held hands with a man and walked down the street, it was an act of responsibility to herself.
A quilt made by my great-grandmother became a life preserver when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.