What do you pray for? Reflections about love, hate, deportation, hope and the metamorphosis of the green hosta

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Tragedy, an event causing great suffering, destruction and distress.  Sadly, at some time in our life, we will face an event that will cause great suffering and distress. How we cope with tragedy will effect how we live our life.

For me, there are two dates that forever changed my perception of the world and the Universe I live in.
·         September 11, 2001.
·         October 27, 2005.

September 11, 2001. That day our world was shattered. Individuals  were willing to kill innocent people and die for their religious beliefs.  Was it hate that compelled the 19 terrorists to carry out four coordinated terrorist attacks? Will there be a time when their hatred of our very existence will cease to exist? Or do we now live in a world where violence is part of our daily lives?

October 27, 2005. The day my parents and brothers’ lease on their pass to obtain the American Dream came to a tragic end. After 20 years of living in America and spending tens and thousands of dollars on lawyer’s fees to obtain legal status, my family was detained, deported and banned to travel to the United States  for 10 plus years.   It is  the day my world changed. The day when I thought God forgot about us.

Those events had affected my children more than I thought possible.

Every year, every month, every week, every day – there are tragedies that make me question whether LOVE  can really solve the problem of the hatred that seems to have plagued our Universe.

What kind of future is in store for the next generation?


LOVE. Can one really define love?  If we google “love”, the first definition that comes up is “deep affection”.
We all want to feel loved, so why would anyone want to hate someone?

Hate. Webster defines “hate” as an intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury; an extreme dislike or antipathy.

Is hate the opposite of love?

Does violence exist because people lost the ability to love?

Do certain beliefs and ideologies drive people to do the unthinkable?

Last week our nation was shocked when the Justice system failed the Stanford Rape survivor. The victim’s powerful letter to her attacker generated pure sadness and outrage.

On another June evening in Orlando, a young, beautiful and vibrant young singing artist, was gunned down senselessly in front of her brother and fans.  This was not a random act of violence. This was a planned act of depraved indifference to human life; this was an act of terror.

On Sunday, June 12, 2016, an American-born man, who had pledged allegiance to ISIS, gunned down 49 people and injured 53 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando. An act of terrorism against our people and our country.



The three events, one may argue, are different. But are they? One young woman was terrorized and victimized twice. Once  by a man who has no moral compass, and does not value human life, and, then again,  by a Judge who thought the criminal’s  depraved act of violence against his victim  didn’t warrant a sentence commensurate with the horrific act he committed. Theirs are the faces of evil.

The murder of the young singing artist was a heinous act of depraved indifference to human life, in the name of something we, as yet, do not know. We do know his is the face of evil.

The terrorist attack on June 12th was carried out by a man who killed 49 people and injured 53 more, as-well-as the countless number of family and friends, whose lives have been changed forever.  His is the face of evil.

And then yesterday, a two-year old was snatched right from his parents and then dragged by an alligator at a Disney Resort. Instead of people showing compassion and sorrow for the parents, blame and outrage against the parents blasted on social media. What has happened to our society? 


As a mother, I was left with questions:
 “What happened to our world filled with love and hope?”

“The violence that seems to disrupt our daily lives every single week – is this part of the new normal?”

“Why is there so much hate and for what purpose?”

“Can we ever be united and set aside our differences?”

“How can I protect my children from hate?”


Ever since the two tragic events that have reshaped my life, I wonder if this is my new “normal.”

My main focus in my “new normal” life is to reunite my family, under one roof. I will never stop working to bring my family back to the United States of America. To be able to laugh together, not through the fiber optics, but in real time, to hug one another tighter in times like these, to enjoy being silly, and to live out our lives together in peace.

At the onset of these tragic events, I may have had difficulty believing in love, hope and faith. Thanks to my youngest brother, who always reminds me to pray, I pray for guidance and protection. At times like these, when I’m about to question my faith, prayers give me comfort and renews my awareness of love and hope, not hopelessness.

When I look at my children’s faces, when I hear their voices, I believe.

When I look up at the sky, I believe.

When I hear the birds sing, I believe.

When I wake up next to the person I love the most, I believe.

When I think of my family and friends, I believe.

When I go outside and observe how the flowers bloom - I believe.

A simple flower bud re-energizes my faith.

Despite the past events, last week I noticed something marvelous, something out of the ordinary. Maybe it’s always been that way.  Maybe I just never paid attention.

I planted green hostas on my front lawn, a few years back.

I didn’t realize that a plant I’ve known for years merely as “giant leaves” actually has flowers.

In my sadness, I took time to garden and that is when I noticed the beautiful green flower bud.

Every day for a week I watched it changed and bloomed.

The metamorphosis of the green hosta gave me something to look forward to, to get my mind off the sad events, and oddly enough, the beauty of the budding green hosta gave me hope.






This weekend as we celebrate Father's Day, let's shower people with love, be less judgmental, hug a little tighter and be kind.

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