A Letter to The Ones Who Came Before

Dear ancestors,

I do not know your names. Your history is lost to me. An entire generation of forced silence beget a generation of grieving ignorance that beget generations of familial orphans. We are lost to each other. You will never know my smile, I will never know your laugh. Did you enjoy mangos as I do? Were any of you allergic to seafood or is that something I just developed?

Perhaps I exaggerate. My frustrations are exacerbated by the unknown. I see in my mother’s face an aunt, an uncle, a grandfather that I will never know. I feel in her love a strength and resilience passed from mother to daughter since before the time of slaves or conquistadors. My father’s chuckle, or the chainsaw snoring are ingrained lullabies from ancient times. The love of food and cooking and family gatherings near the kitchen are buried in DNA blessed by God or evolved after millennia.

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