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When someone new calls you Mama

May 26, 2011

“Momma how did you know me when you saw me?” Yen asks me this question, and ones like it, more and more as our anniversary gets nearer. It amazes me that although, she doesn’t know the date of when she came to live here….every year without fail: she just knows.

“I didn’t see you first.” I pause to look up at her..to look at all of them lined up.They all love a good story. “I had just stepped off the elevator and someone asked me if I knew how to get to the pool, ” Yen smiles big knowing the whole story by heart. She has made me tell her hundreds of times in the past three years. “I had just turned around and from the corner of the huge hotel lobby I heard someone yell Mama” Yen hasn’t even taken a bite of her favorite meal , she loves this story so much.

“But momma…how did you know it was us…..How did you know the kids yelling Mama were yelling at you? There were so many other people there.” It’s a new question. I had never thought of it till now. Why did I think the yell of Mama was for me?
“I just knew…I never thought it was anything other then my children calling me. I saw you and you saw me and you ran over and hugged me yelling Mama and a bunch of other stuff in Spanish.”
“Then what happened,” she finally takes a bite of lunch. She is back in familiar territory and she knows now how I will answer.
“Well I looked you both in your faces…Mer you just kept staring into my eyes trying to figure everything out….But you Yen, you were sure of me. Your eyes were bright…Bright like when you know we are going somewhere together. You knew me and I knew you.”
“Then you went to the pool!”, Ash follows with a loud burp, “Excuse me,” and hops down from the table. The whole group of them melt into laughter. The little kids run outside to enjoy the first sunny day in awhile. Another child begins her piano practice…chords droll on in repetition. I get the baby down from her highchair as she begins to toss the remains to the floor, rice scattered like there had been a wedding.
It’s nearly been three years since we sat around that pool, waiting to hear we could go home. So much has happened since then.

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