“I could have never lived through what you have,” she told me, as we sat across from each other at a bustling LA eatery. “What? No, what you’ve been through is so much harder, and way worse,” I told her. I’d read her autobiography,* detailing how she’d survived a murder attempt that left her with a permanent scar across her upper lip, was beaten by her husband in public while people cheered on, and much worse, before she’d made it with her children, to the United States from Sri Lanka.
That was our lunch chit chat last month. Me, in the presence of this lovely woman named Teera, who I’d met at an IWOSC writers’ meeting, and was captivated by her kindness, humility, and cheerfulness.
We walked across the street to MacArthur park, a place where drug dealing, prostitution, and the like, has taken place over the years. “I wanted to to show you this,” Teera said at the lake, and we took in the beauty of The Spheres at MacArthur Park, gigantic balls (the picture doesn’t do justice to how tall each ball is), painted by over 7,000 children and youth participating in creative therapy and civic leadership sessions as part of a project to revitalize the park. We asked a man with a backpack to take our picture and he did, with a smile.
*Teera’s book Teera: A Life of Hope and Fullfilment, can be found on Amazon.com.