I forget that my parents are people. It seems a silly thing to say, because of course they are people, but what I mean is I forget they were young once, that they had grandparents and parents, and experiences, real heart wrenching experiences. It’s hard to remember, because they’re your parents and you fight (I fought with my mom just now) and you forget, they’re people.

Last night after dinner, my mom admonished me for telling Jenn that my grandma got kicked out of my uncle’s house, but I asked her why she was ashamed. Jenn’s not judging us, I said. You don’t understand, she replied. In our culture, it is shameful.

I told her that as God’s children, we shouldn’t mind those things, and then she started to cry. I never thought, she said between hiccups, that this would happen in my family, that my own sister-in-law would kick out my mother…what would your grandfather say? She remembered his words to her brother: Take care of your mom when I’m gone; and he had agreed, but he couldn’t control his wife.

I couldn’t keep the tears from springing to my eyes, but I was collected enough to remind her that God had a bigger plan, that we should trust him and trust that he knew what he was doing. My dad came down at that moment and looked at us with surprise. We sat there in silence until he said, The summer before he died, your grandfather took me out one day to talk; and shook his head and said no more.

We hide so much in our hearts, in the dark, secret places no one ever sees.