The story I most want to tell right now is about Andrew, my son. He lives in Washington now, he's a surgeon, but I miss him, and I'm getting too old to travel. I don't know what that means for us. I came here from Iran in the 80's and I married Bill when I was so young, and Andrew is my oldest, so I think it is natural to miss him so much. He has a wife and children now, so in that sense I know that he has made it, that he made the American dream I came here for, but I still feel sad so much. Four of our bedrooms are empty, and I feel like I fill them with worry. I do have Bill, and your grandma, and the women's club, and church, but sometimes all of that feels empty. 

The other day Andrew flew down to visit me, and he left his family up in Seattle, and when he got here all he did was complain. About how I haven't changed his room at all, about how the house looks the same, about how the house should be safer for Bill and I. And I couldn't believe that he would fly down just to spend the whole time complaining, and I thought he was being so ungrateful. He comes down once every couple of years, but it's mostly Bill and I flying up to go see him. I thought it was because that was most convenient for him, but maybe he's ashamed of me? He grew up here, so I don't know what to do. What do you do when the child you raised is ashamed of you? It's all I've been thinking about for the last couple of days. He left early, he took and early flight back last week, and he hasn't called since. It's all I've been thinking about for the past couple of days. 

Bill and I had a life before him, and we still have a life now, but it is so different. He's so different. And I love him to pieces and he's an excellent surgeon, but I can't help but be a little disappointed. I don't know where the time went. 

Odette O'Brien

Issue No. 18 • Spring 2017