Today might feel like a mountain.
That’s how my mother described today’s fast after iftar when we spoke on the phone.
Coming down from my visits home feels like slipping down a slope,
clumsy and unsure footing.
My heart racing at the anticipation of footing the path wrong
and slipping faster than feels comfortable.
When I leave my parents home on a Sunday,
I leave in a huff because it’s the most frustrating moments of the entire weekend.
My mom stuffing my bags full of miscellaneous things:
garbage bags, toilet paper, tomato sauce, tuna, fashion magazines, coffee packets, creamer, honey packets, those ice packets that drip weird chemicals but are somehow safe to keep your food cold?
And in this process, I always leave something behind because my dad is always huffing about how I should get on the road if I’m leaving and in his own way, he defends me from my mother’s frantic hoarding.
In the distance is always a sibling or two, waiting at the door or by the car, loading bags of things into the car to make the bus back to NYC.
Things that frustrate us are never about the things or the bags of stuff filled with love or the bus or about things.
It’s about being sad that we will not be together or whole again for another couple of weeks until the next visit.
The frustration is about homesickness and the things we do leading up to saying good-bye are simply the things we do to distract ourselves. All of us. We have perfected the roles and I hate mine.
I absolutely hate my role in this all. I want to be an understudy to my life sometimes and watch the good-bye in rehearsals.
Especially on days like today when it feels like a mountain and I am homesick or like I’m coming off some drug.
Today might feel like a mountain because it’s the 15th day of Ramadan. A half-way point.
So if this is the hardest day, the hump, then maybe it gets easier after today, right?
I don’t really know what part of missing them I want to get easier. I want it to hurt less, to worry less…
… I don’t ever want to feel like I’ll never see them again. I know I will, but I’ll never have that moment with them again.
Over the weekend, we watched home videos from 20 years ago.
My sisters were itty bitty – in one, Sangi wasn’t even born! I can’t imagine a time without her and to watch moments captured without her existence was surreal.
I sort of half-argued (to myself) and whoever was around me that we shouldn’t watch the videos.
They make me so sad… and I think they make everyone else sad too… reminding us/them of our former lives, selves, shapes and bodies. The lives we led, the little we had and how much we made that little bit stretch and go to feel like an enormous amount of wealth: we were genuinely connected to one another.
In these videos, there’s little gaggles of us – cousins. Brown and giggly with teeth missing and some funky (not good funky) outfits with (my) belly showing at 8, 9, 10… It’s hard to watch us/me again. Not because I am embarrassed, but sad for what who we were and
where is she now?
Most of all, I get sad because looking back,
so many things are wonderful seeming.
I know they weren’t
but nostalgia can make the past so beautiful.
And so, I look back at these memories
and then I feel where I am in the present:
it feels heavy and hard
and the present has frustrations and huff & puffs
and in the present, we want it to be different
to be better.
but the present will be in the past one day
and we will look back and think
wow, those days were just the best, weren’t they? I miss…
and I just want to somehow to know that the present is a wonderful memory,
even in it’s hardest moments… even when it feels like a mountain.
So, I assert: today is a wonderful.
(to be added to a piece I’m working on)