My mother's birthday is 11 June. This year, 11 June was also the day that our dear friend Nikki got married and where I was given the honour of performing their ceremony. Hell, our cats turned two years old on 11 June. It was a day for celebration. I wanted to say so much to my mother, but I only found the time to give her a short phone call. But her voice on the other end of the line was light, filled with her contentment and the lightness of years that I can only hope are growing lighter on her shoulders. Mom, I thought of you all day, and all night.
But when we woke up the next day, we got news that in Orlando, Florida, 49 people had been killed by a man who had stormed a club and held them hostage in one more act of hatred and violence. One more person for whom we will have to find a reason to explain his acts and whose ancestry will in some way become proof positive that what he is, and what he has done is some way an invasion of a foreign presence in what was once a great America. Somehow with a social media feed that was marred in tragedy, I would not bring myself to celebrate my mother's birthday, because I could not risk being told that I was trivializing such sadness by not focusing on it. And I couldn't do that to my mother.
You see, as the years go by and my distance grows I feel even deeper inside of me and know that I will always be American, and I learnRead More