The news of Picasso’s I-212 waiver approval came right in the middle of the Save the House campaign.
Things have settled down. And I’ll be getting on a plane and returning to my home in East Oakland next Wednesday.
Exchange one front door key for another.
For the first time since I said goodbye to Picasso, got on a plane in January of 2011 and left all that I knew of our life here in Mexico, I’ll now be getting on a plane back to California with the knowledge that we’re one step closer to justice prevailing.
I went to live full-time in the United States in January of 2011 so that we could start my husband’s I-212 waiver process.
So, yes, a big part of me is definitely relived and happy with the waiver approval. I fought a lot of mental, physical and financial obstacles in the States to deliver on it. I was also carried at different moments through the support of so many of you. In light of all that, the approval is very affirming.
And yet, my misbehaving mind. Damn, I sometimes wish that I could just park my mind on a chair for a minute, like a purse or a jacket.
Picasso was deported in April of 2001. Twelve years ago. I was 31 years old. I’m now 43.
For my own survival, for the benefit of my marriage, for my own sanity I had to close some rooms in my mind.
When I leave a home where I have lived, I always take a moment to thank the space, particularly the room where I slept. No matter what went down. No matter how long or short a time I may have passed there.
The same thing happened with these rooms in my mind. I thanked them for what they gave me, the good and the bad. I closed those doors in my mind, and never looked back.
Those mental rooms hold memories of moments of my husband and I together in the United States. Memories of moments such as he and I at the 1999 Women’s World Cup at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. I got my first glimpse of my husband the Serious Soccer Fan that day, when Mexico played against Brazil.
Memories of us eating arroz con gandules made by his Puerto Rican landlord where he lived, then where we lived, in a little room on East 26th Street in Manhattan. The late afternoon sun spilling all over the dining room table. The big metal soup spoons with the ceramic handles that the landlord always gave us to use to scoop up the food.
Those memory rooms of our life together in the United States – they want me back. Their doors are now in the front of my mind. Inviting me to open them and go through their packed boxes.
I stand right outside, my hand on the doorknob, holding my breath.