Eddie!! I knew the voice.
It was April 2016, Dad and I made a journey back to Singapore together. When we first arrived there in 1975, we were simply hoping for a new tomorrow. We were scarred, and set out to make the best of it as father and son apart from my mom and brother.
That voice, she has known me a long time, since I was nine to be exact. They are family to us. When we moved to Singapore she took me in as her son as she did with her own, Mohan and Anand, and Anand had not been born yet. It had been a few years since we had seen each other and we are just as comfortable as a family should be; yeah, and we look nothing alike yet we are the same. To Leela I’m still that 9 year old kid, adult sized now, in her eyes. I love it too, as it never ceases to amaze how God works to bring together lives across borders, cultures, and backgrounds to become family. And we are.
Me and Dad with Leela, Mohan, and Anand (with his son)
He is always there for me and my Mom. Our adventures over the years have carved treasured memories in our minds and hearts. We are as close as our blood runs deep, he and my Mom got married in 1984 and I am truly grateful for my step-dad, I prefer to call him my bonus-dad. Max and I enjoy being around each other, A LOT. He served as a career public school teacher; he is a great builder, teacher, engineer, astronomer, sailor, and craft beer enthusiast. I’ve have learned much from him, the value of patience, desire to always learn, hard work, and being resilient. Max also makes sure my Mom puts the recyclables, no not in the trash, in the recycling.
With my wife Angela, my Mom and Bonus-Dad Max
My brother nicknamed him Captain Planet, a superhero no doubt. It is a pleasure to live in the same city as his sister, my Aunt Daphne; a joy to be around her and her family too.
A visit with Aunt Daphne
The point of all the above is that people may notice that we are not of the same ethnic background. However that is certainly not what defines our relationship, rather it is our love and respect we have for each other, the desire and joy to be together and always looking forward to the next time.
It sure is hard to turn on the news or read much without there being racial divisiveness of some kind. I find myself asking why can’t good and encouraging news get reported more often?
As I thought about something I could do, I reflected on my own experiences, relationships, and thought how about a place where that stuff is shared? Namely, stories that uplifted us all, from different ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds. Akin to what John Krasinski did with Some Good News for eight weeks this past spring during COVID quarantine, however for racial unity.
Rather than statements, which can serve as conversation stoppers, how about roll up the sleeves kind of conversations? It requires willingness to consider the perspectives and experiences of others as more important, in many ways, than your own perspective; unity demands communication, effort, and growth. It involves listening to one another, respecting and honoring one another, and being committed to not shouting down, attempting to silence, or not really listening to each other.
That is what I want Bleed As One to be about, a place where street names or neighborhoods don’t matter, what we do or where we are from does not matter, and to serve as way to carry each other.
What I have learned is that truly understanding and relating to friends and family from other cultures, backgrounds, and countries helps me walk in others shoes, and see through others eyes.
And that is what this is all about; though we are not the same, we are one blood, and have one life with each other. So, let’s carry each other.
Could not find a better way to convey it more powerfully than this:
Thanks for joining me!
Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. — Helen Keller
We bleed as one,