Yes, Texas is my home, where family and my dearest loves live. And yet, I'm going home. 50 years ago my parents left everything behind and brought me to the US. Now, as an adult, I reflect on the enormity of that decision and the courage and pain they balanced. Ostracized by his family, my father still prioritized my mother and me. Knowing no English, my mother waved goodbye and cried all the way. I remember that. I remember the rain when we arrived and whispered conversations about going back home. I wonder if my dada knew all the time that the move was final. I wonder when my mother realized that her fate had changed while she was looking. Such loses, even as they created a new life, but never intending to do so.
And now I go back. I return as a professional and I'm anticipating the most basic joy, a hug from people who love me just because I share history and blood. We share a unique history that only we can remember and do so as kids, but our lives took such different paths. None of our own making, but eventually intersecting. I wish that I had something of my father to bring back with me, but he left so little tangible, so much in my heart. Maybe that's the greatest way to bring him home. When I arrive, I'll just say his name and let him know. He's home.
My mother said she never wanted to go back, but her anger and pain spoke volumes. She, too, needed closure. She, too, is going with me. I will hug my cousins for myself, for my brother and sister, for my parents, for all of the family they will never know. Now, at this point in my life, I go home.