Reading Ahmad Fadam's blog entry on leaving Baghdad in the New York Times made me pause in the middle of the work day. While I will never know (I hope) the feeling of being forced out of my homeland, I read Fadam's words carefully and contemplated what it means to leave the land where your father and mother are buried. Recently, as my father's condition worsens and I face the reality that he will soon be gone, I am awashed with feelings for this man I never really knew. What would it be like to share those moments of joy with a father who was a father? Dad tried. But the most he did was he showered me with gifts. I suppose that was the only way he knew how to be a father.
But to get back to Fadam's blog, the reason it made me think is because I've been considering how best to take care of dad after his passing. Dad would probably want to remain in Taiwan and rest with grandpa and grandma. But how can I leave dad in a land I will probably never go back to? Thus, the answer is to bring him back to the States even though I am considering leaving the U.S. not to return to live again.
As I prepare to leave for Argentina next January, I know I will return to the States to visit family and friends. But I ask myself repeatedly if I really want to return to live in the U.S. again.? Aside from friends I would trust my life with, joys of lazy summer days watching baseball, being an insomniac in New York City, I don't feel very American. Although I am happy I'm here rather than Taiwan, part of me regret my forced migration to Los Angeles during my youth. Whoever asked me if I wanted to come? Certainly not my parents.
In America, I have so many demons I prefer not to face. Who knows? Maybe being a stranger in a foreign land will change my mind.