I saw father crying today. I went to mother to ask her why.
‘He cries for your brother,’ she said, ‘He cries, because your brother is not coming home.’
This made me cry.
‘Where is my brother, mother?’ I asked.
‘He is being held captive,’ she answered, as every other time. And as every other time, I did not understand.
‘But why?’ I asked.
‘Because he lived. He went with your uncle to do a desperate and terrible thing. Your uncle died, but your brother lived and thus was captured.’
Now I cried for my uncle, but still did not understand.
‘But mother,’ I pleaded, ‘Why did uncle do this thing?’
‘He believed he must do this terrible thing, because he believed it was the only thing he could do. He believed that with this desperate thing, others might see his cause. and through grief for him and for others, that they might change. He believed that with this terrible and hopeless thing, that our family and our friends might return home.’
For all her explanations, I understood even less.
‘But mother, aren’t we home already?’
‘This is not our home, child. This is our refuge.’
‘But mother, I was born here. If this is not our home, where is it?’
‘It is near here, child. And it is in our past.’
‘But if it is near, why do we not go?’
‘Because we can not. We are being kept from returning.’
I began to understand.
‘Is this why uncle did this thing? Because we may not return?’
‘Yes, child,’ mother began to cry, ‘That is why they did this terrible, desperate and hopeless thing.’
‘But mother, if this thing would let us return home, why do you cry?’
I felt I understood more, but also nothing about the tears on mine and mother’s face.
‘Because, child. Our home is not our home anymore.’