Invisible Wounds

the horror that haunts us. (Tuol Sleng, Cambodia, 2006).

history that haunts us. (Tuol Sleng, Cambodia)

Why do we always end up here?

We drove along, cramped in the car, but together. Family finally in the same city. The Christmas lights twinkled. The carols played. The holiday spirit in the air.

But those invisible wounds, the painful memories buried deep beneath the chest, began to resurface. We were discussing tensions between neighboring countries in Asia, and the consequences that result when those countries go to war.

“My aunt hid inside a closet, in fear of invading soldiers,” my husband shared. It was a small glimpse of his family’s history during World War II.

I paused, a bit startled. Previously, I knew very little about Hong Kong’s history.  My knowledge consisted of half a day’s visit to the Hong Kong Museum of History, and reading Lee’s The Piano Teacher, a fiction novel based during the Battle of Hong Kong and the Japanese Occupation. I never truly grasped war’s  impact on our family.

Did Ee Ma tremble in that closet? Continue reading


From Tragedy to Triumph (2013, in Review)

2013 Year in Review

My Highlights from the Past Year…

2013! It was a difficult year for the nation as a whole, and especially for Boston. Following an unexpected terror attack on Marathon day, the heartache within our own city.. it was intense…palpable.

But oh, how far we’ve come! All across the news, you’ll find journalists recapping the year’s events. Here, my own personal year in review…

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When Worlds Collide

one world tower. under construction, 2012.

one world trade center. under construction, 2012.

I didn’t know where the twin towers were located.

At the time, I was a naive student, absorbed in my comfy college world.  I sat in the West Mall, the outdoor courtyard littered with students going to and fro, between their classes, and watched the news unfold of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center.  I saw the look of faces, eyes wide, glued to the TV news stations, everyone in dread, in anxiety.

The TV images played over and over in my mind, smoke billowing to the sky, shards of glass windows and metal from buildings falling to the earth, blasting cracks into the ground.

And later, a phone call.

A whirling vortex.

My best friend told me, “my aunt worked in one of those towers-

she is missing.”

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From Dusk to Dawn

“You showed us, Boston, that in the face of evil, Americans will lift up what’s good. In the face of cruelty, we will choose compassion. In the face of those who would visit death upon innocents, we will choose to save and to comfort and to heal. We’ll choose friendship. We’ll choose love. Because Scripture teaches us God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.”

-President Obama

It’s been a tough week. Thanks Mr. President for this reminder.

~ ~ ~

a repost from my old blog.  life before the tragedy. 

The cityscape twinkled beyond the windows, as the train slowly crossed the bridge.  It was dusk; the darkness looming and the sky scraper lights illuminating.  Peering out, old memories began to flood my mind. I remembered the hundreds of times which I admired this same scene: the river, the buildings, the lights. Except I wasn’t on the train those times, I was at the bedside, in the hospital.

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