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“What is nuance in the face of all that we have experienced?  Just remember that, for better or worse, we can be described as survivors.  Know that we’ve always kept on living.  What else could we have done?”  - Anthony Veasna So, from his collection of short stories, ‘Afterparties’ about the shared experience of Cambodian refugees.

In this time of uncertainty, fear and isolation, I reflect on stories from my past to understand how we might find courage and joy. My ancestors represent a crazy quilt of migrants from Europe. Survivors of war, poverty, epidemics and persecution, they faced immense hardships and yet put their efforts into living.

I celebrate those who hungered for freedom, crossed oceans, built communities, raised families and mourned their dead.  They dreamed big dreams and looked to the future.  They persevered.  And I celebrate my daughter Sara, descended from brave people, who also knows how to find joy in adversity.  She inspires me constantly.

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