Friday, September 9, 2011

Growing up without a father after 9/11

Growing up without a father after 9/11

This story sad, no denying that. The reporter well captures the poignancy of children waiting for a father that never comes home, the recurring nightmare of a parent who has to cope with the loss of a spouse and deal with kids and an event that is so large that it is a constant reminder of loss. For the world, 9/11 is still the news story of the century, it touched so many lives and changed the way we thought of so many things that were previously commonplace. Ask anyone over the age of twenty where they were on that day and they can tell you. For those moments that it took for the towers to come down, the world stood still, watched in horror and then watched again and again as the events were endlessly replayed by the world media. It was a truly sad day for mankind because it was caused by man, not some random act of nature.
And yet, this story has another resonance for those Trinidadians reading it. In reality, it is the story of many Trinidadians who leave here to go and live in "America". It is their version of the American dream. Many immigrants work at low paying jobs to ensure that they have a roof over their family's head while they continue in their quest for better. For some, it means a house, car and decent schools for the kids. Others study and get better jobs and create their own version of the dream. But for this family it turned out to be a messy, somewhat sordid end that left them perhaps questioning the memory of the person. The underlying story line is familiar to us, it happens here all the time. We recognise Vishnoo, from sneaking into a movie, to the way he interacts with his children. But he was also a still married man, living with another woman, having children leaving another family behind. It is a quintessentially Trinidadian tale in many ways, it's the stuff of so email forwards: only a Trini would decide to go up into a building to get a better view of a disaster, to the quotation from the wife of ""The way he go, it's like the earth opened and just take him away from them." Life is messy, you never know what will happen.

1 comment:

Gabriela said...

I grew up without a father, too, although not because 9/11. And yes, it's very hard to lose someone so loved.