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Face to Face With Grief

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I heard my mom talking on the phone to my uncle, her brother. Her voice was quiet, a cracked whisper I had never heard her use. “When?”   Then she turned to me and switched to Cantonese: “Mommy died. She died last night. The nurse called me just now. Mommy died. She died in her sleep.”   […]

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Frame by Frame: Love in Motion

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I sat at the kitchen table with my hand planted on a flower print cloth as my aunt, Tanti Sadjo, prepared couscous, my favorite meal, for my birthday party. I watched in awe as she mixed the grains in a large silver bowl, ensuring that each grain was coated with the perfect amount of sauce. Once […]

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Alone With My English

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​​​As I walked into the kitchen, I sensed the chaos of my family—the clattering of pans, the screaming of aunt over aunt, the toddler running between rooms. I sat patiently, languages flying.  “It’s time for dinner! Hurry up and eat!”  I craved nothing more than fading away at family events. It was too much sometimes. […]

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No Chance for Goodbye

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Guilt. This was the emotion I felt when I read my brother’s text: Tayabo has passed. I quickly shut off my phone, staring into the blackness of the screen, my face distorted in the reflection as the gears in my head stopped turning. A small ringing noise was the only thing I could hear until my […]

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