Family Separation Across Border Leaves Lasting Emotional Distance
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Aired 10/23/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.
We've all heard that people make sacrifices to cross into the United States illegally.
It's dangerous to cross the border, and it can be life-threatening to make the trek through the desert.
But migrants and their families often make bigger sacrifices than that. In hopes of making a better life, families are often split apart.
Award-winning novelist Reyna Grande is out with a memoir called, "The Distance Between Us," about her childhood spent in Mexico away from her parents and how feelings of abandonment lingered long after they reunited.
"When I finished the memoir, I felt that at some level, I could finally understand my parents — and forgive them — and that was very healing for me," Grande said.
Grande's father left the family in Iguala, Guerrero for the U.S. when she was just two years old. His dream was to earn enough money to build his family a house.
The reality in the U.S. was different than he expected. When he wasn't able to make the money he thought he could, rather than return home, he sent for his wife. Grande's mother joined him two years later leaving her three children with their paternal grandmother.