2019 and 2020 books are in the
Odds and Ends
6 3, 6:39pm
My father is Danish, and he honestly did not like the Danish way of governing. My parents lived in Denmark for a while in the mid-1970's, and my mother told me a story of how one morning he threw his paper down in rage and said "I'm paying enough for three other families!" He had dreamt of coming to America since he was a kid, so first chance he had to get out of Denmark, he was off.
My mom (who was from Birmingham, Alabama, USA) absolutely hated Denmark so much she actually left my dad over it and moved back to Alabama for a while until my Dad put in a transfer to Hong Kong where they got back together again and I was born in 1977.
My brother and I of course LOVE Denmark. We got to see our grandparents and have fun at Tivoli and Bon-Bon Land, and the Little Mermaid both with and without her head. My favorite memory was trying to chase pindsvins through the hedges! XD
My Dad received his citizenship to become an American in 1998. It was a proud, proud day for us all. Dad's lifelong dream came true.
I wish this story had a happy ending. My parents divorced when I was 11. At the end of her life, my mother sat with a broken back for 7 months that would not heal and with no medical care. She eventually killed herself in 2008. We lost our family home of 30 years being forced to pay back the state for her medical care. I've been homeless. I still have nightmares about it.
My father is currently 79 years old and sitting in an old folks home with severe dementia and can no longer speak. We his children are slowly being bled dry paying for all the care he needs.
I would like to stress that I consider us INCREDIBLY lucky to have at least had some resources to mitigate all this compared to many we know.
Years ago when W. Bush was still in office and before he lost his ability to speak, I was talking to my dad about how bad health care here was here in America and talking about how scared I was about what we were going to do for him when it came his time. I asked him in light of this if he was ever sorry he left Denmark or if he had the choice, would he go back? He shook his head and said, "No. Not in the slightest. I still feel I made the right decision and I'm still very happy to be an American."
So as his light fades, I try to take my own tiny place in American history by talking to people (including my state representatives) with the unique insight I've been gifted from the two countries I consider home.