Thailand is many things for me. It’s my roots. It’s beautiful childhood memories. It’s part of my pride. However, it’s also the country of where I last saw my dad and where both my parents passed away.
When I walk around I’m a living version of my mama. “Your mom Thai?” “Your mom sway?”. “This is Christina, Supan’s daughter”. “It’s Christina! Eivind Bjørn’s daughter – you know, handsome yet unlucky Norwegian in wheelchair? Look how she’s grown!”. “Gym and extreme sports. Just like your papa”.
Every time I come here it’s not the same. Because he isn’t here. I drink the same drinks. Go to the same places. Eat the same food. Yet he’s not here. Or are you dad?
A white feather fell from the roof. I don’t believe in angels, afterlife or ghosts, yet that doesn’t mean I know anything about it. Fact, however, is that I feel you around. Tonight we stayed up. Like every time this time of year. Usually we talk. Not this time. Thirteen years. I can’t remember your voice. I don’t know what you’d say. It’s okay. Thirteen years and I’m with you for the first time. I’m right here, I’ll close my eyes and I’ll be back here thirteen years ago.
You’re in pain. I know. No one treats you the same when you’re in a wheelchair. You can’t do the same anymore in a wheelchair. I’ve been feeling your hand on my shoulder for days. Thirteen years ago I would have put my hand on your shoulder too. I’d be smaller, but I would know. I would say I love you, I wish you wouldn’t do it. I wish you wouldn’t feel the need to. Yet, I would say it’ll be okay. We’ll be ok. I’m gonna be fine. My grandparents love me. They’ll take care of me. I’ll learn to find my real friends. They’ll always look out for me. I’ll need you at the beginning of my twenties; I’ll cry for you, scream for you and wonder why I couldn’t keep you. I’ll learn. I’ll learn to stand on my own feet and cry for those who need me. Scream for the rights of the vulnerable and keep fortitude in my heart. I’ll be pained over all those big life events where you won’t be there. Yet you will. At my graduation. If and when I’m walking down the aisle towards a man who loves me for who I am and who’ll never let me go. I’d know you’d walk there, right next to me, but you wouldn’t give me away. You’ll give me away to life this day.
In a couple years I will have lost my mama too, but you’ll be with her and when ten years have gone without you both I’ll be doing greater things in your memory. Will you be proud? I hope you will. I will learn that your dreams were to travel America too. How funny is that? I will wish you could have told me yourself. Yet, that wheelchair isn’t going to let us do it together. That’s life.
It’s okay dad. I won’t blame you. It will be quick and it won’t hurt. I’ll take the pain for you. I’ll carry it as if I’d carry you, then I’ll scatter it all over the world. Together and apart we’ll be left stronger. I’ll miss you.