I’ve been told that the physical distance between my parents and I is preparation for me to understand how it will be when they go back home. When they are no longer in this world. When I will no longer be able to touch them, hear their voices over the phone, miss them because they are in Florida. This is preparation for when they leave their bodies, go back home and visit me as spirits.
I was told this after I decided that I need to make another plan for the fall. I no longer can afford to go to Morocco to learn Arabic. My options are to stay here in Oakland and work, wondering what taking risks looks like. Or I could go to Florida, not Miami but Spring Hill where there are rows and rows of strip malls. Where kids hang out in the Burger King parking lots. Where I would have to accompany my papi to WalMart, Target and Costco. This is where I will learn to live with my papi again, we haven’t since I was eleven. Papi is retired and still works at my brother’s restaurant. He works the mornings the best time for me to write. I will be able to spend my days writing and learning what it means to be part of my family again. This is the new plan but sometimes God and I aren’t on the same plan, so we will see.
My papi just came back from Cuba and when he leaves the country I miss him the most. I miss the ability to talk with him. Listen to his stories, exchange advice. If I finish writing my book that involves my childhood, the stories where everyone thinks my papi is bad, bad, bad, I will have to show what I’ve always wanted to show, change is possible, we can all make better choices. My father is the best father I could ever have. I am blessed to have him in my life. They say that we pick our parents. I understand why I picked him.
His partner went back to Cuba. They spent about seven months together the longest since he left Cuba to move to this country. The longest since it’s been just them. Before, when they first met, my papi was married to my mami. His relationship was an affair, she is something like his second wife. I’ve never been happy with this situation but what can do? It has been so long, I have to accept things as they are. She is my papi’s partner. So, I asked him how he felt about her being back in Cuba. He said he was fine, they have a relationship but she has her life and he has his. This is a good way to look at it. I wonder how I can learn more from their relationship when I envision a partnership for myself.
I am perfect by myself. All the work I have done to be a better person, to follow my path, to do the work I need to do in this world is moving. But I realize that when I am with others I am triggered. And although I am better there is a selfishness. Meadow, my good friend from college just moved out to Oakland. She is my roommate for the month and it has been great. With her I learn that when I am eating dinner with someone at the table I just can’t stand up and try on my new gold shoes. With her I learn to make space in my closets. I am learning to spend lots of time with another person, something that I have gotten away with not doing for years.
I am going to live with my papi and spend time with my mami because I believe this will be the blessing I need to really move forward. I don’t believe I will be able to do my work on this earth by myself. I will be able to give more with a partner, a family, friends and community. Being with my birth family will give me the opportunity to heal the places that need to be healed. I can not fully start something wounded. I want to be more than whole.
I am trying to view everything spiritually. Every moment is a blessing, every moment is a learning lesson, every moment can bring me closer to my purpose.