Monday, March 30, 2009

Between Heaven and Earth: Rediscovery

Current Location: Midland, Michigan, USA / 43°37′25.0″N 84°13′45.7″W

To the government of Canada, I was known as number 013 067 694. I was four years old.

I found this old document while going through my parents filing cabinet over the weekend. Tucked between two folders was a yellow envelope that had the word "Immigration" written boldly in black ink. Pulling it out of the envelope, the scent of rotting paper filled my peripheral senses. The paper was thin--almost Kleenex like. As I unfolded the flaps, I discovered the picture of a little boy staring back at me. His hair uncombed. His face was without a smile. It didn't take me long to realize that it was me.

So I sat there--on a Sunday afternoon as the sun shined brightly through the attic window, casting a shadow of myself on the adjacent wall. Dust particles danced and glistened to rays of light, filling the void of an almost empty room. I didn't know what to think. My eyes were transfixed as I admired the old document--flipping it over again and again, reading every fine detail of every word transcribed. I slowly ran my fingers across the picture and felt my heart gradually beating even faster. I don't know why.

During dinner, I showed it to my parents. They couldn't believe what I had found. My mothers eyes glistened as the light above our dinning room table lit the food we were about to consume. I gave her a hug and she smiled. As a family, we've come a long way since this picture was taken--a long, long way since we left the brutality of a refugee camp over 25 years ago.

Sitting there and looking at my family, I realized that this was one of the best Sundays I've had in a very long time.

Read the Series here:
Between Heaven and Earth


TheChicGeek said...

I didn't know you had immigrated here from a refuge camp. What a beautiful story and you were a beautiful little boy. You should frame the is so beautiful in what it represents and as a reminder of how blessed you are and how far you and your family have come.

I bet everyone would love to hear more of your stories. I know I would.
Have a wonderful evening :)

floreta said...

i love your writing and the way you describe these snippets of your life. this is a great reminder of where you came from, where you have been and where you are now!

Dan Denardo said...

We can all be thankful that your parent's path brought you here, bro. Someday when I meet them, I'll thank them personally.

I don't know your parents (yet) but I know they're amazing by knowing you.

Ava said...

The change and challenges at your early childhood made you a confident, strong and very special person today. That's a gift from God. Congratulations!

Young Traveler said...

Ron, I'm awestruck.

Thanks for sharing this part of your life.


PS. What do you mean, "whenever" you go to the Cannes Film Fest? How many times have you been, you posh SOB?

Vesper de Vil said...

wow what an intense moment!

Bon Don said...

Awwww what a little cutie pie, I just want to squeeze the poop out of little ron!

Fitria said...

Ron, I'm sure your parents are proud of you now... Another beatiful writing...

Diana Saw said...

Wow. I am linking your heaven and earth series from my blog. Many thanks for sharing, Ron. It can be very frustrating for a foreigner living in Cambodia and your posts help me understand things better. I just learnt from one of our women sewers, Edany, that she ate dog meat during the Khmer Rouge rule because "Pol Pot had no food to feed us".

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