DAWN CHAELCE BERNARDO
With College Across the Horizon
Hope, my little sister, you never fail to bring me laughter. When we hug you squeeze the fat in my arms in your tiny palms.
Faith, my older sister, I owe my maturity to you. I wanted my pin straight hair to match your curly hair because it always gave me a sense of comfort. When we were little we would play out in the courtyard, pick the mysterious red berries from the trees and eat them.
Mom, thank you for cutting me fruits when I was hungry in the evening. I see the way you work hard to provide many things for me, and I appreciate all that you have done. Even though I don't share the same religious values, you have taught me that prayer is a precious time for family. During our Monday prayer, you guide my fingers, teaching me which beads to hold. When I'm lost I turn to your hands for guidance.
Dad, you are always absorbed in television but I find it comforting to watch your shows with you. You carry us over the road safely in our travels. You will be driving me off to college and I imagine myself watching the road with you. It was hardest to convince you to let me go to college out of state, but you were the one who named me Dawn.
Dawn, the beginning of our family’s lives here in the United States. I embody the hopes that you held when you left your home in the Philippines, and now it is my turn to leave.
Thank you for everything. I will come back home soon.
On road trips that span hours long, my father stares blankly at the road in silence. His attention to the road reflects the protection he provides us with. May 2021.
Physical touch is our love language. Without a word shared between us, we feel love and comfort from being close. May 2021.