When watching the evening news I was amazed to discover that thousands and thousands of children were arriving in my country from Mexico -- without their parents! Crowded into an enormous space, with no visible adults to help them, how lost and confused they must feel. And a second look brought back the memory of my own childhood, when I arrived in America in a ship that had brought us across the ocean.
At least I was not alone. My mother was with me and my father was waiting to hug us when we landed. We had left my native Russia in terrible condition after enduring war, famine and revolution. But we were full of hope in the magic promise of America. And ever since then I have lived over those dramatic days in my memory and known that some day I would write about them. Though in my busy life I only got it published in my eighties, the remarkable details were always clear in my head.
Reading about the stresses I faced in my book, 'Weather of the Heart,' gives the reader a sense of the challenges facing the poor Mexican children. Left in a strange country to cope with a new language, a different culture, my first school and new friends, I was an example of how they will fit into their new world. The sharing of experience is valuable in so many ways to the understanding of people's difficulties on being thrust into a new life.