The hardest part

The hardest part about being so far away from family is… well, being so far away from family.

Yesterday I spoke with my mom and she gave me sad news about her brother, my uncle.

He is in the hospital and will be going through chemotherapy soon.

Aging is so hard isn’t it?

Not necessarily our own process of aging but watching our elders age.

It always kills me to think about the fact that my parents, aunts and uncles are getting (shall I say it?) old and their health is failing some of them.

To think that I can’t be there for moral support.

To think that I already lost a dear uncle not too long ago and I might be losing another.

The older we all get, the harder it is.

I hope it is not my uncle’s time, it doesn’t feel like his time.

I hope I get to see him again.

Good thoughts for my tio Antonio Carlos.

primo Abel, tio Antonio Carlos, my mom and avo Maria Teresa in Mozambique, early 1950’s

A night story

I went out with my brother, my cousin Vitor and his cousin Antonio last night.

It was a beautiful night out.

The moon was almost full.

The sky was clear.

The air was crisp.

We hit a couple of small places in town and it was wonderful to be out and about somewhere different, walking on the old cobbled stone streets surrounded by so much old architecture.

When I returned home, as I sat in the kitchen eating some buttered toast, I looked around and tried to find anything that connected me to this house.

I never lived in this house.

Other than my parents, there is nothing in it that makes me call it “home”.

Then I looked up at the chimney and there they were.

The nun and monk salt and pepper shakers.

I finally found something that I remember having around as a child.

It made me smile. 🙂

It was a good night.

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Today, on this very rainy day of September 29, 2010, I became a citizen of the United States of America.

I was sworn in this morning. (this goes right up there with getting married and giving birth to Lily.)

As I stood amongst 200 future citizens from 42 other countries, I could not help but get a little teary eyed and emotional to be standing next to so many others whose roads were just as hard and long as mine to be finally standing where we were this morning.

For once, we were all happy to be standing in the immigration building. 🙂

My parents moved me to N.J. from Portugal when I was 14 years old. I have lived here for almost 24 years.

This is the place I call home.

I am happy to finally say I am proud to be an American! (not that I didn’t already consider myself one before)

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during the ceremony