I was laying in bed with Said on Sunday when it dawned on me that even though we are hitting our three year mark this year, I am constantly learning more about him. He is like a vessel – where he so secretly stores information about himself. I had always known he moved around frequently in his childhood but was under the impression he moved a lot in MN as well as one or two other states and a year in Kenya. However, he clarified all of this to me for the first time Sunday evening.
Said’s history (to the best of my knowledge)
Conceived in Somalia.
Born at Mercy Hospital in Mpls, MN. His parents came to MN because his dad had an international business office here, his mom came to visit him when she was pregnant with Said.
After he was born, they moved back to Somalia, where he lived until he was 4 when the war broke out. He told me when he thinks of home, he still thinks of his house there. His family was considered wealthy in Somalia. His grandfather left plenitude of wealth to his father and his father was very well-educated in both Somalia and Italy. He had his own business with offices in Somalia, Italy, Minneapolis and several others. He remembers walking to the mosque just a few blocks away as a kid. He doesn’t talk a whole lot about Somalia to me because it is upsetting and he gets emotional talking about his home country. His own cousins had to witness soldiers raping their mother and sister and killing their family members. Fortunately, Said never saw that brutality firsthand.
When the war broke out, his mother, sisters and he lived in Kenya until he was 6. He went to school in Nairobi. He did not like living there much because the walk to the mosque was much further, but Kenya is very beautiful. His father was always traveling for work, so for most of his childhood, Said and his sisters were raised by his mother, almost like a single mother household.
After Kenya they came back to US, living in MN for a while before moving to Portland because he has family there. He had a serious eye condition and after a lot of research, his mom discovered the best surgeon for this condition was in Vancouver, Canada. So she decided it was best to go there. So she drove with Said and his sisters to Vancouver, stopping in Seattle where family was and stayed in Seattle for several weeks before moving along.
After his surgery was done, Said and his family lived in Vancouver for a couple of years until he was about 8 or 9. His uncle (his mother’s brother) lived in Vancouver and they stayed with him. He was only 9 years older than Said, so was the prominent older brother/father figure in Said’s life. In fall of 2007, his uncle died in a car crash which devastated Said very much.
After staying in Vancouver, they drove back to Portland, again stopping in Seattle for a few more weeks, and finally staying in Portland until age 10 or 11.
Finally his mom and sisters moved back to Minneapolis, where they moved around a few more times in South Minneapolis for a couple of years until Said was 14. He was having some troubles in school, so after his 8th grade year, they moved to Columbia Heights, where he has been since (10+ years). Both of his younger brothers were born in MN. Even though he has lived in the same city/region for that long, of course it has been in different homes as well as living in the dorms his first year in college at U of MN. However, they have lived in his current house for the past 6 years or so.
Then in March of 2007 he met me. A girl born and raised in MN – only moving once in her life from her North Minneapolis home to Crystal. However my family always valued vacations so I have traveled some, but besides a motor home trip to Canada, did not leave the country for the first time until college in 2006.
I really am not surprised we have found a match in each other. I love to learn about different people, places and cultures. I have always been much more fascinated by people different than me. Opposites really do attract. And here we are almost three years later and going strong…