Where I’m From
I am from plaid tweed couches, from Heinz Ketchup on plain potato chips and lots of books.
I am from the gathering place for friends and family. A family home in a neighbourhood with big and beautiful, shady trees.
I am from the cherry tree and rose bushes. From the collard greens and the tomato plants.
I am from big and loud family dinners and adults telling tales of countries far away. From music and dancing. I am from aunts and close cousins and from a grandmother who proudly and without shame, favoured me.
I am from loud, laughing and strong women, family barbecues and home made wine. From a pink 10 speed, playing hopscotch, double dutch and 7up for hours and running home when the street lights came on.
From always wear clean underwear, finish all of your food and you didn’t drink that last drop of milk. I am from where you work hard for your money and nothing comes easy, yet you seem to have it all.
I am from a Roman Catholic God who knows and forgives. From every Sunday visiting my deceased father’s grave and having fun all the while.
I am from a friendly city, Toronto the good. From Portugal, salted cod and hand cut fried potatoes. From thick and creamy homemade soups with buttered fresh bread. I am from warm crusty bread topped with olive oil and sugar.
From my father’s mother who could skillfully whistle entire songs and gave the loudest kisses, who lovingly cussed and told dirty jokes behind my mother’s back. I am from the sister who watched as I attached a swing to old pipes in the basement. From playing Twister in the kitchen and scaling narrow hallway walls.
I am from old family photos and Polaroids stuck in kitschy photo albums kept in my mother’s coffee table. Old film reels stored deep in the hall closet projected onto our kitchen wall. From summers spent with family filled with laughter and love. From hearing stories of a father I never knew and memories that never get boring even after countless retelling. I’m from a strong and forgiving mother who is all about love, fun, faith, and sacrifice.
That’s where I’m from.