Balikbayan

Date
2014-01-15
Authors
Skinner, Michelle
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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I was born feet first and believed that this made me able to heal people. Grandfather seemed to believe this too. Whenever a fishbone was stuck in his throat he would come to me and have me lick my index and middle fingers and rub his throat. He was always very old to me and I remember the skin on his throat being loose and soft. "Lolo, is it working? Is it loose?" I would ask and he would just point at my fingers and keep trying to clear his throat. It made me feel important when he would stand before me presenting his throat to my fingers. But I wondered what else it was that I was supposed to be able to heal people of. Mama said I was lucky. Being born upside down, I could have died before I got cut into the world. That's why I was so serious she said. Mama believed that children who had faced death in this way were either very serious or very lighthearted. This didn't make any sense to me at the time. I knew that I didn't laugh very often, and I tended to think things ever carefully. It seemed that I just didn't take life in as easy and reckless a manner as most other children. Maybe that's why I didn't really care for the company of other children.
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97 pages
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