I woke up early this morning after a deep sleep. I almost forgot where I was. I thought I heard my kids stirring and getting ready for school, but a glance at the mountains from my hotel window tells me I’m here, in a place that familiar to the memories of Em Nai, Ai Ta, and my parents. It’s cold in Sonia. Shivering, I wrap myself in my blanket and let my spirit wander. The silence is broken by sounds of birds chirping and the honking of truck horns from the main highway.

On the airplane ride, I sat behind this uncle. His gray hairs elicited memories of my father. Dad used to make me pull his gray hairs out. I hated doing it but now I wish I could touch his gray hairs once more, if only for a brief moment. Ai (dad), my Taidam spirit is here, wandering, waiting and wanting. For what? I’m not sure yet. I’m just letting it go and allowing myself to arrive at where it was meant to be. But I have a better understanding of it now – of your journey, your sacrifices. Although I wasn’t there when our people fled, I can hear the bombs exploring and smell the stench of burning flesh as if our families’ flight imprinted in me.

My spirit is journeying to you, Ai, Em, Ai Ta, Em Nai…

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