It’s 1960. My grandma arrives in Brazil. She doesn’t speak the language, she doesn’t know anybody. She feels lost and confused. She misses Spain and her family but she’s determined to make a new life out of these ashes. She does.
It’s 1961. My mother is born. The other kids at school tease her for not speaking Portuguese well. She goes to Spain once but she feels lost and confused. They tell her she’s not really Spanish. She’s a foreigner at home, she’s a foreigner here, she’s a foreigner everywhere. But she is determined to make a new life out of these ashes. She does.
It’s 1995. I am born. I speak the language. I was born here. But the kids at school tease me for looking like my dad. I feel lost and confused. My mother tells me it’s okay. I’ll make it through.
I see her working at the family business, raising four children. Strong and focused, carrying for over 20 years the weight of the world on her back. Taking beatings from life for more than 50.
And I don’t feel lost and confused anymore.
I thank the women in my family for being determined to make out a new life out of these ashes. And I know that I will too.
By Laura Turpin