Ayi

ayi1

Yesterday our ayi disappeared. Complex personal circumstances, which language and culture make it difficult for me to understand made her leave suddenly for her hometown. I do not know if we will see her again.

For four years, since Max was born, she was – outside family – the most important person in my life. In some profoundly crucial ways we were as intimate as husband and wife. Since our days were spent together raising my kids.

My ayi and I were both born in the year of the dog. And though we are from different worlds, I often felt that we were, in some strange way, the same – that but for the randomness of circumstance, we – tai-tai and ayi – could have easily switched place.

As she spoon fed my son, changed a dirty diaper or rocked my wailing daughter to sleep I – grateful for a moment of escape – would wonder what karmic debt she was repaying or – more likely – which I was building up…..

In any case for 4 years at least the love, hardships and minutiae of parenting kept our fates radically intertwined. In case our paths are now no longer joined, I wanted, somehow, to say goodbye.

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