I AM THE DAUGHTER OF REFUGEES

Pope Francis’ Speech:
I have a visceral reaction when I hear such hatred around the topic of immigration. Frankly, it makes me sad that so many of us have forgotten that we are children of immigrants and speak from our wealthy homes with such little humility, such little perspective and so much entitlement.
 
Lately, for me, that has gone one step further as I look at the crisis in Syria.
I AM THE DAUGHTER OF REFUGEES.
What does this mean and what responsibilities do I have?
The Miami Jews opened their homes to the Catholic children of Cuba in the 60’s.
What does this mean and what responsibilities do I have?
 
Dare I ask myself these questions?

A Duck Is A Duck

A Duck Is A Duck was the first book I ever read in Sister Mary Ann’s First Grade Class at St Brendan Elementary School in Miami, FL.  I loved that book. So simple. So classic. No explanation to be made. A Duck Is A Duck. How can you argue with that logic?

When we were kids my dad may have been driving us through South Beach, which was a very frightening place back then filled with old folks sitting in rocking chairs facing the beach just rocking their last days away, and the derelicts  of society-pimps, hos, druggies and ducks. Ducks-or as my father used to say Patos.

Patos is Duck in Spanish. It is also slang for gays. For example, a trani sashaying down Ocean Drive would elicit a “tremendo pato” statement. We quickly came to understand that a man with feminine tendencies was a Huge Duck to my father.  A masculine woman was a Tortillera or, loosely translated, an Omelette Maker.

So, what came first- the Pato or the Omlette?

I guess I have pondered this lately as there seems to be so much stir about gay marriage, having to explain to your kid about gays, religion vs non-religion, breaking the law in the name of God and the list goes on and on. It is baffling and often enraging as that is not my God they are describing.

My parents never explained to us about homosexuals. Shit, my parents have never uttered that word! Pato, Torta, yes! But homo-sex-ual? Jamais! Never!  Clearly we got that they were different and elicited an entertaining response from them but they never chased the response with a descriptor, an explanation, an opinion or a judgement.  They simply made sure we knew that the most important thing is to “Love One Another”.  After all, A Duck Is A Duck.th