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Listen to Our Stories: Words, Pictures, and Songs by Young People with Disabilities
Listen to Our Stories: Words, Pictures, and Songs by Young People with Disabilities

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Back Home with My Family

Mimosa Long

I met Mimosa at her home in Lynn, Massachusetts, where she was living with her parents and her six sisters and brothers. All nine of them were there when I arrived — the little ones prancing around me with their big, inviting smiles; the quiet older brother; the young parents, unfazed by their bubbling brood; and, of course, Mimosa, slight for her nine, going-on-ten years, shy with me, her voice rising to barely above a whisper when we were finally left alone to conduct our brief interview.

Although Mimosa herself had always lived in the U.S., her mother was Cambodian born and her father, born in Vietnam, was of Cambodian origin. Both had fled their war-ravaged countries some years before.

Mimosa's father, much easier with strangers than his daughter, filled me in on some of the details of her disability. She'd been burned at age two and a half and had since undergone numerous surgeries to repair damage to her tissues. She was due for a set of operations on her legs, where scar tissue was preventing her from straightening them out completely.

Mimosa's burns, which reached up her neck into her face and had partly molded her facial features, had also caused less visible scars. Her father explained that she and her mother were now avoiding outings to the store. Apparently, Mimosa had been the brunt of other children's frightened outbursts at seeing her face.

Mimosa and I didn't talk about those sorts of experiences. But we did cautiously approach the event of the fire itself. Her account, pieced together out of snatches of her memory, had the quality of an old dream. Later, when I read to Mimosa what I'd written about her, however, she asked me not to reproduce that part of our interview here.

Before leaving her home, I asked Mimosa if she would draw some pictures for this anthology. A drawing she did of her and her family appears below.



Drawing by Mimosa Long. In Mimosa’s words, "I am burn and back home with my family and I love them."

Drawing by Mimosa Long. In Mimosa’s words, "I am burn and back home with my family and I love them."

Click here to read a description of this drawing


For more information about the disabilities discussed in this story, please visit the Resource Links page.

 

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spacerHOMEPAGE
INTRODUCTIONACKNOWLEDGMENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS PART 1PART 2PART 3PART 4
RESOURCE LINKS
INDEX CONTACT


spacerLinda Hillyer, compiler and editor of Listen to Our Stories
logo art by Adiyana Paramita
The combined contents of this website are © 2006, 2008 Linda Hillyer. All rights reserved.