The Never Ending Story is one of those movies I watched in my childhood that still has the power to give me the hibbie jibbies (Falkor still scares the shit of DH). There was something so damn haunting about The Nothing (with capital N) that stirred my already over active imagination and made me feel like meeting with IT was a fate worse than death. When I read the book it wasn’t any better, although it probably had something to do with how young I was and how dense, existentialist and philosophical the story is.
I felt, while I was struggling with my immigration issues, that I was in the middle of the Never Ending Story, no hope in sight, in a quest, escaping from fate, battling against an unbeatable foe, Sisyphus and I were one.
I swear sometimes I felt like The Nothing was in relentless pursuit of me and the life I had forged here was Fantasia and The Nothing was bent on consuming it, consuming me.
Luckily the movie ends happily and so does my story in that regard. I am currently working a well paid job (even if the hours are ridiculous). I have a cute little car. I drive around sometimes on Sundays, when DH is off playing baseball, with the windows down and the music blasting and I feel such giddiness and over such a simple thing…amazing how unappreciated the luxury of movement is, the freedom that legality offers you. The joy of the sun on my face and the wind in my hair, knowing the cops can stop me and I can flash them with my smiley face on the Driver’s License. I look almost manic in the picture in it.
We are planning a trip to Europe with DH in October (London, Paris, Prague, Venice, Florence and Rome in two weeks!), I am going to do what I have dreamed of doing for more than a decade, I am finally going to travel the world (or at least part of it) and life is good.
Last Monday my sister Patty had her Citizenship test and she passed with flying colors. The whole family (uncles, aunts, cousins, in laws, brother and sister) felt the happiness along with her. She will become a U.S. Citizen in two weeks.
Why exactly is Citizenship something to dream of? It seems an odd thing to strive for, doesn’t it? The abandonment of your own land for a new one, not only in the physical step that was taken eleven years ago when we left home, but in a more official and irrevocable way. Her passport will be blue (no longer burgundy), she will easily enter any country in the world without having to request visas and prove to them you are worthy of visiting and aren’t actually planning on staying. What will she say when she is asked by a stranger where she is from? What will I answer when my time comes? Will she say Colombian? Or American? What will I say? I already struggle to answer between Venezuelan and Colombian; a new citizenship may cause an identity crisis.
My sister will be requesting our mother soon. She is the last of us still in the process of legalization; soon our whole family will be safe.
The Never Ending Story for my mom is just beginning. She has to do the whole process once more; in this case her daughter is the one requesting her when in my case it was my husband. The steps are the same, however: interviews, filling out forms, exorbitant fees to layers and the DHS, affidavits, lawyer meetings, fingerprinting, TB tests, vaccines, uncomfortable questions and the feelings of inadequacy they arise.
I know without a doubt that when her time comes to go through what I went through she will handle it with much more grace, less bitching, less drinking and with a happy heart. She won’t feel the anger I felt, the sense of betrayal and entitlement. No matter how long it takes, what they ask of her, I know she will be happy because we are all here, close to her. That is her Fantasia and The Nothing won’t ever touch her.