I walk with spirit and grace. I am a weeping mother, too empathetic, craving company yet strong on her own. I am eternal light, as beautiful as a rose but as tough as the thorns on its stem. Cursed is the confines of a name. Who am I without a title? I am a floating soul, tied to this universe in a tiring and never-ending cycle of pain and love. I am distraught by the utter confines of this body. I did not ask for this body, for this life, for this air, or for this name. My soul wants to wander free, not be held captive. What is the lesson my old, exhausted soul must learn from this life? It has travelled endlessly, being given new lives to live in different bodies with contrasting labels. Some lives are long, some short. Yet one thing always remains constant: the pain.

My current body was brought into this life screaming and excreting a brown sludge. Is this how one should start a meaningful life? Confused by the impact of the fresh air, the germs, the sounds and sights around? Terrified of the utter mess of a life they are entering, pushing, wanting to return to their free soul? How awful.

I opened my eyes only an hour after my birth, curious as to where I had ended up this time. Life seemed pointless in such a vegetable-like state. I couldn’t walk, speak, stand; hell, I couldn’t even clean up my own bottom after using the restroom. The nurses in the hospital claimed that my wide, open, brilliant blue eyes were a sign of intelligence unmatched. I think they were right. This hasn’t been my first life and it won’t be my last.

I looked at my father, William “Zeev” Lamboy. I looked at my mother, Heather Leigh Austin-Pierson Lamboy. There was the name I was to inherit: Lamboy. Yet, I must ask, what is a name without pride? Why carry around a pointless title if it means absolutely nothing to you? I wish I could ask my father this, yet alas, he has already moved on to a new body. To clarify, my father rebranded himself in the most awful of ways. It was his attempt at fleeing his own life. His real name was William Alberto Lamboy. He was very Latino, but claimed to be more Jewish than he was. What an awful lie. He told me that our name was one to be proud of! It was a French name, one of an endless line of royalty. Yet, even though there are some Lamboys in France, that’s not where HIS name originated from. Picture a tree. Start at the roots. Connect it to a stem, one that is skinny yet strong. Now imagine an umbrella-like arch constituting the branches. At each tip of the branch, place a beautiful red flower. In between the flowers, add fern-like leaves. You have created a flamboyan tree, one that is only found in Puerto Rico. My given surname comes from this tree. How lovely! My first name and my last name both speak about nature, about flowers. Maybe this is why I am so delicate, so intricate, so beautiful. Yet, why do I trap my own soul within the confines of my name? I will never understand.

I began speaking when I was only eighteen months old. Early? Yes. I had a lot of things boiling inside of me. My first language was Hebrew, my second was Spanish, and my third was English. I can no longer speak Hebrew, but I can read and write in it. I am still fluent in Spanish and English, though, which I think is what allows me to sing and think in ways that others can’t. You might be wondering how: by speaking other languages early, my tongue was never forced into one solid “position.” I can make sounds that others can’t, interesting and powerful sounds. Similarly, I can think in other languages and find ways around usual “psyche” blocks.

Early on, my parents told me I was different. My father made sure to tell me that he thought our souls were connected and that we had been related in a previous life. He was an old soul as well, just one that was extremely troubled. I hope that he is more free now.

I was put into Gifted and Talented programs early. My IQ was abnormally high for my age. I was aware of it and so were my peers. I had remembered things from infancy that others could barely call on. I was wise beyond my years. What a tiring burden to carry, just like a name. How was I supposed to be full of grace when I was elevated to a more mentally-advanced group at my schools? Therein lies one of the reasons for my endless list of intolerable insecurities. It was hard to be so obviously and disturbingly different from my peers. I didn’t have to work as hard and I never really felt challenged. I rose to leadership positions with grace, just as a mother would, just as Hana in the Torah did. I always wondered how something could be seen as a fault, something others envied, and also be exactly what others needed in life. How was I a leader and bullied at the same time? It was utterly confusing. I moved past it, though, with grace.

When my father grew sick for the second time, I assumed the role of my name: mother. My own mother, Heather, just as beautiful and inspiring as the flower, had to leave my siblings and me with our father while she worked to support our family. Therefore, I became mother; I became Hana. I weeped just as Hana did in the Torah, asking Hashem for help and guidance. It never came. I bled red petals from my wrists and my hips. Crimson is a dizzying color when it falls from the stem. I felt alone, just as Hana did.

When we all lived together again, it was close to the end of my father’s life. He was not a fighter in the body he had been given. His body was fighting him and his soul was ready to leave, so he didn’t much care to battle with his fate. I still assumed the mother role, taking care of him in any way he needed. It was hard and I never received a thank you. How terrible, yet that is the destiny of the mother: you must care and love endlessly without ever receiving a thank you. Many mothers, many parents in fact, don’t understand this concept and fall short of actually ever being a parent in the way a child needs them to be. That’ s how my father was. He expected credit for everything I did without ever saying he was truly proud of me or happy with what I was doing. The good moments with my dad were incredible, but the bad heavily outweighs the good. It makes me feel so melancholy to look back on the follies of my father. It is sad to know that he fits into the “bad dad” model that society has built for families. Even with all of this sadness and pain, I still miss him. How awful is it that an empath cannot find peace? Thank God for my mother, for Heather Leah. Beautiful, yet resilient like the flower. She is like Leah in the Torah: the strength and the structure of my family and my life. She has been my saving grace throughout all of these things. Flowers live with flowers because of their innate similarities. They bloom together in the same flower bed and radiate different types of beauty. That is how my mother and I are. She is my best friend and one of the only things that genuinely makes this life worth living.

I have asked and addressed various questions in this piece yet my soul still feels distressed. How am I grace when I was raised to not possess any semblance of the term? Why was I, a child, forced into the mother position similar to that of Hana’s from the Torah: one of pain, struggle, and loss? How am I supposed to connect to nature, to my spirit, when my soul remains restless, like a flower in a hail storm? I am tired: tired of having to ask these questions based on the labels that were assigned to this simple body. I want to be free: free of labels, free of this carcass, just free.


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Hana Lamboy


She/Her/Hers Lesbian Boricua Queen

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