In the rush of moving, I had stuck the letter in my miscellaneous junk box because I had already taped up the box with all my other mementos from home:
October 13, 2003
Last night, I dreamed that I was having a meal with Lucy and Rita, you and your brother Peter's godmothers. Then, I suddenly saw you and Peter eating at another table near us. I was so surprised and walked to you and asked you why you didn't tell me you were coming home.
Then I woke up.
Is it because the two of you have left us for so long that even in dreams, I can't help but miss you?
Love you always,
I moved to Chicago from the country of my birth, the Philippines. I left my home at the age of 21 because even though I loved my family, I couldn't live my life in the closet; I couldn't live a lie. I wanted to be the real me, you know, a bright, young gay man with a head full of useless, celebrity trivia. The future awaited me, filled with love, laughter and a colossal credit card debt.
At the time, fifteen years ago, I didn't even think about what this meant to my family, those I had left behind. All I could think of was myself, my survival and my despair of ever, ever finding a real pair of Prada shoes instead of the counterfeit shit they sell in the sidewalks of Manila, the ink on the label running from the sweat in my heels.
Reading the letter again made me remember how hard this journey had been, not just for me, but for the people I loved.
Today is my mother's birthday.
I miss you mom.
All About My Mother - a tragicomedy in three parts
The Long Way Home - yes, before the Dixie Chicks!
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