10 Years. 10 Lessons.

On November 29, 2011 — 10 years ago today — my father took his last breath. His life ended, and my life as a fatherless daughter began. …


When you are rendered invisible,

you either accept erasure,

or you refuse to disappear.

I refuse to disappear.

There are many who cannot see me as I am

because they cannot make sense of who I am.

So many who cannot reconcile that I am:

a native speaker of…

At Home in the World

In 2002, my mother took a stunning photo of my father reading on the terrace, under the setting sun, and captioned it, “At home in the world.”

9 years later my father would be gone. Since his death in 2011, that photo has taken on…

Dancing with My Father

A few days ago I discovered a new song — “Never Get Used To” by Seinabo Sey — with a great beat that I immediately started dancing to. …


Another Mother’s Day is nearly upon us, and I feel immense gratitude that my mother is here to celebrate it. With the past year we have all lived, it is nothing short of a miracle that she remains healthy and safe. It is a true gift.

My mother is…

Follow Your Bliss

“Follow your bliss.”

My parents would repeat this phrase to me, like a mantra, throughout my childhood and adolescence. They always emphasized how crucial it was for me to to pursue what I love, what awakened my soul.

I heeded their advice and have focused on language…

On This Day

Facebook has a feature — “On This Day” — that allows for users to see what they posted on that very day x number of years ago. When I first began using Facebook, I used the feature often, and would check it every day. …

My Mother’s Arms

I press my cheek against the smooth, warm, and yet cool surface of my mother’s arms.

Here, I am safe.

Here, I am loved.

Here is familiar.

I rub my cheek along my mother’s arms and every few moments, kiss her to express the utter contentment and…

I Thought I Knew Tragedy

I thought I knew tragedy.

My father died only two months after being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

I lost him two days before my son’s 1st birthday.

My mother lost her best friend after 44 years of marriage.

All of those who knew…

Naomi Raquel

Bilingual. New Yorker. Multiethnic. Change Agent. Author of “Strength of Soul” (2Leaf Press; University of Chicago Press, April 2019)

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