What I Found When I Searched for My Long-Lost Sister
This was not the information I was looking for. This was not the truth I wanted.
I had her year and city of birth: 1976, Cebu City, Philippines.
Mara, meaning bitter,
If you leave me now, you take away the biggest part of me.
Oooh, girl. Baby, please don’t go.
I found nothing. But I also found empathy for my mother.
Cinelle Barnes is a memoirist, essayist, and educator from Manila, Philippines, and is the author of Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir and Malaya: Essays on Freedom, and the editor of A Measure of Belonging: 21 Writers of Color on the New American South. Her work has appeared or been featured in the New York Times, Longreads, Garden & Gun, Electric Literature, Buzzfeed, Catapult, Literary Hub, and CNN Philippines, and has received support from the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund, the Focus Fellowship, and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. She's a contributing editor at Catapult.
Enter your email address to receive notifications for author Cinelle Barnes
Confirmation link sent to your email to add you to notification list for author Cinelle Barnes
More by this author
More in this series
A quilt made by my great-grandmother became a life preserver when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
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.
My kin may have erased themselves, but I won’t erase them. Just as I may be their wildest dreams, they are also mine.