more than one voice

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

the difficulty of belonging

my mom

As Mothers day approaches, i’ve been thinking about my mom.  She left yesterday to visit her sisters in the UK.  They are getting on in years and have had health problems, she worries that she is far away from them.  She has always been fearful about being far away from her family of origin, although I’m not too sure if she realizes how fearful she has been.  Living in her adopted country where family, ancestors and origin is everything has been difficult for her. Its been hard for her to live with her roots above ground, exposed to the harsh elements, feeling often like she lacks an anchor. 

We need to feel we belong, we need to be able to stake our claim to families, to communities,and to the countries we live in. We don’t need to hold on too tight but we need to feel that we have something to lightly hold. For a long time I wondered if I belonged in my birth country, was I not perhaps more European, did I really belong in Africa? Working in the UK as a carer in 2007 and 2008, cured me of feeling like I don’t belong in my birth country.  Finally I was able to say with pride and absolute conviction - I am African. My mom also worked as a carer in the UK around the same time as I did and when she got back she know for the first time in 40 years where she truly belonged. She belonged where her heart was and it was in Africa.

8 comments:

  1. MARVELOUS HEARTWARMING post. thank you xo

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  2. What a lovely post. How wonderful for you and your mom to realize that you finally were where you belong- home.

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  3. thank-you for your comments - for some reason this was not easy to write

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  4. I was born and grew up in Germany and came to Israel 30 years ago. Oh yes, I too know where I belong - this here is my true country, my place, my love, my home! Thank you for such an inspiring thought provoking and heartfelt post Clare!

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  5. I forgot to tell you: Very nice picture of your mom!!!

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  6. Thank you Yael - i think you get exactly what was trying to convey.

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  7. Such a touching post! I can relate to this, as well. My parents' and my roots are in Germany. But while I do love it there, I have grown my own roots in the US, where my husband and children are. "Home is where the heart is" - isn't it?
    Best wishes,
    Angela

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  8. this is a topic close to my heart too clare... I was born in the Uk of european parents and now live in aus... so who am I? lol... not exactly sure which, and it differs from time to time, but now with my kids here this is definately home for me now. good post!

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