Friday, April 15, 2011

so far away

Linking up to the Gypsy Mama's five minute Friday....

Chile is so far away. My husband's homeland, the place where he most wants to be. His mama is there, his daddy is there, his brothers and cousins and grandmas and the people who mattered most to him for so so so long are there, and we are here.

Here in the very different US, with values thrown at us everyday that seem to say that his childhood was inferior and that returning to a life like that would be the most unwise choice. Here, where the only way to get from one place to another is by car. Here, where without a college degree a "real job" is impossible to come by. Here, where being a legal resident costs thousands of dollars, time, and ridiculous interviews where people question whether you are actually married.

Distance is what happens when it is time for the holidays, time to remember family traditions, and the people who are still celebrating them, even though he is far away, thrust into the midst of my own family's holiday celebrations. Distance between his family and him, my family and his family, and somehow, distance between the two of us, as I try to draw him closer than ever to sooth the ache of being so far away, and he wants nothing to do with my sympathy.

Distance can start off between one place and another, and end up being between one person and another. Time can put them back together again.


  1. I am amazed at your eloquence- what a gifted writer you are..and what a beautiful piece on the sorrows of the dichotomy between Americans who all, at some point, have been immigrants...we set off on a roadtrip today and there was a bumper sticker on a pick-up truck that said "American By Birth"- it was all I could do to keep my road rage at bay...Thank you for sharing your reality- your distance.

  2. I am married to a man from El Salvador and we also deal with the issue of his distance from his family and his inability to go to them. Yes, the interviews are ridiculous, and in the end, it comes down to the judge and what side of the bed he got up on that day. But, unfortunately, with all the fraud and abuse of the immigration system, this is what it is reduced to. Human lives are degraded and family is devalued, and those who do right are not always rewarded this side of heaven and those who do wrong are not always dealt with here on earth. Good luck to you both and come visit our family

  3. So glad I stumbled across your post from Five Minute Friday.

    My boyfriend is Guatemalan, and we feel many of the same things about distance!

  4. This is a beautiful tribute to the strength of your marriage, your love for each other, and the understanding of what it's like to be so far removed from home. May you find that your home is more and more in each other and not a place.

  5. Thank you for honesty and perspective! I currently live in Guatemala, and my boyfriend and are looking into all the immigration/visa/residency stuff. It's been overwhelming and exhausting. Do you have any advice or can you recommend anyone in the states who has been a good legal aide or advocate.

    Also, a very happy birthday to you, too!

  6. Michelle,
    My best advice is simply to be honest. We had some questions during one interview about why a certain type of visa had been requested, rather than another, but our honesty when filling out forms and during the interview seemed to redeem us from the uncertainty of scrutinizing eyes. And be patient! It takes a long time!