Thursday, August 23, 2018

National Senior Citizens' Day (Ledice and Jose)

This past Tuesday was National Senior Citizens' Day, a day to honor the seniors and older buds in our lives. Since Best Day was inspired by a conversation between Benita, our founder, and Mei Chiu, Benita's grandmother who came to the United States from Hong Kong. To celebrate that incredible journey Mei made, and the stories that came with it, I've devoted this post to stories from our immigrant older buds. Please keep in mind that American English is not our storytellers' first language. We've kept the grammar and word choice intact, except in rare cases where leaving it out would make the story more confusing.

Ledice McKnight 
My Arrival to the USA 

I always remember when I arrived at the United States in 1981.
I was very excited coming to the United States, my purpose was learning English to an intermediate level to pass the TOEFL or the Michigan test. However, my happiness very soon turned into a nightmare. I arrived at Metro Airport in Detroit, Michigan and the person that was supposed to pick me up never showed up. I had to venture at 9:00 PM into a town that I had never been before and I did speak very very little English. 
I went from Detroit Airport to Ann Arbor at 9:00 PM. I showed my papers to the cab driver, my passport, and student visa. Since it was very late, he dropped me off in a little motel called Harmony House. I did the best I could to explain to the motel’s owner that I needed a room. At this point, my head was about to explode. I had a horrible headache. I left my country at 6:00 AM and more than 12 hours passed and I had not eaten anything. When I got a key to my room, I sat down in the bed and I cried and I said to myself I took so many English classes at Venezuelan American Institute and I did not understand a word of English.

Jose Dominiguez 
My Wife Farewell

Taking Maria to the emergency hospital was not a surprise. For 3 or more years her health was diminished month after month day after day. At 64 years of age and 40 of marriage this looked like the prelude of a farewell. She always had something to say and her advises were on natural healing and to surrender ourselves to the will of God. Nevertheless she, as always, looked powerful so sure of her recovery, so sure of her will of power but that Sunday she was so week that immediately was transferred to a IC unit. The infection was touching her blood and that means sepsis. To give her a chance of breathing, she was hooked to a respirator. Her life was in decline, the doctors told us that there was no hope. I took her hand and at the same time that I touched her dear face I muted slowly: “Maria you are going to make your final trip. Your soul will leave free from your body, you will be in an indescribable area because of its beauty and peace and at certain point you will hear a voice calling you ‘Maria, I was waiting for you this is your eternal dwelling. From here you were ushered at Earth and now you return to your real home here, time, pain, suffering, attachments those not exist.
You are welcome dear Maria our dear daughter.’”
She did not reacted and a few moments later her heart stopped.

If you liked these stories, then pass them around. Stories are meant to be shared, and Best Day is as successful as it is because of word of mouth. Thanks for your support, and Happy Belated National Senior Citizens' Day!

 Curated by Caitlin Cieri