J is for Journey

I cannot stop thinking of their journeys. How far they came to get here.

I vividly remember going through that tunnel on the 605, the lights turning on in the dusk, curled in the passenger seat while my mother drove and told me stories of the past. How she stayed alive. How hard it was.

I wish I could remember her telling me stories about more than the hard times. I don’t remember any stories of joy. There must have been more than the joy at a small lump of palm sugar once in a very long while. There must have been.

I have a hard time thinking of her beyond her roles as mother, daughter, wife, worker, survivor. I have seen her as all of these things, but I have not been able to see– just her, whole. There is a disconnect, perhaps because I have spent my life so awed by her, by her stories, by her strength.

It has always been so. But I am not a child any more. I am on my own journey, one that is so very different than hers, but which is inexorably connected. Part of my journey is to learn, to document, to understand hers.