I get to hug my son

Zebu in summer of 1998

Today is Zebu’s birthday and I’m feeling especially grateful. He (and our other son) spent their entire childhoods with Zippy and me and while those years certainly held challenges, we remained intact as a family. The four of us were never forced to seek asylum, we were never denied refuge, and our children weren’t ripped from their parents’ arms. That kind of unspeakable trauma was never part of our lives. Not because we’re exceptional or more deserving, but because we were fortunate enough to be born in the United States. That’s it. Sheer luck.

Today is Zebu’s birthday and I get to hug my son. I’m weeping for those who can’t.



I can’t pretend to know the depth of pain Lisa’s family and friends feel right now
because I only knew Lisa ( ) through the online writing community.

It’s as if there’s something missing, an emptiness hovering just out of my reach.

I learned of her passing, and immediately thought of her son.
Mine was standing alongside me, and I hugged him tight.

My heart hurts so much knowing she can’t do that anymore.