"A Safe Haven" by Paula Rose Michelson

"Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing, Book 1" 
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Before we begin “A Safe Haven,” I believe it important to mention that when one grows up feeling threatened because of who they are and what they believe, their emotional growth and ability to be congruent may become compromised. 

I know that each of us has experienced a lack of safety at some time. I remember that while playing dodge ball, the ball hit my glasses causing them to break. Whenever I had to play that game, I felt awful. Because my teacher wanted me to overcome my fear, she kept insisting if I learned how to do better I would like the game. However, I was not worried about doing better, or liking the game. I was worried about my glasses being broken!

This is a little worry when we compare it to Naomi’s concerns. Yet whether little or big, whenever we have felt endangered, each of us has found that there are only two choices: face the situation, or flee.

To prepare for Naomi’s journey, remember when you felt endangered, and ask yourself:

What did I fear?

Why did I stay, or flee?

What happened next. 


The Beginning of Chapter 1, "A Safe Haven"

Naomi knew she was in trouble the moment the immigration official had told her, he was taking her to Ellis Island. No immigrants had disembarked there since the end of World War I. Someone had told her that the authorities could remove a passenger from a ship because of a problem with their paperwork. Yet even when she sat where the man had pointed and closed her eyes, she refused to believe that her situation was as dire as it appeared.

Her mind brought her back to the moment her life had changed forever. She could still hear herself scream, “Abuela Sosa, please do not be dead,” sobbing while she had tried to shake the old woman awake. The next thing she remembered was that the old woman’s daughter-in-law had packed her meager belongings into her suitcase. Unable to stop herself, she demanded, “You have no need of me anymore? I gave you a year of my life! Your esposo—I mean, your husband—promised he would help me enter America and search for my uncle if I took care of his madre!” As she uttered the words, her sorrow had mounted, for the kindhearted old woman had treated her as if she were her very own kin. However, that was certainly not true of the daughter-in-law, who seemed unfazed by the old woman’s death as she dispassionately closed the lid to the girl’s suitcase and stared at her. Why is she in such a hurry to rid herself of me before the doctor examines Abuela Sosa and declares her dead? She remembered the secretive phone call the woman had answered worried that the family had somehow discovered that the last name she had given was not hers, felt a knot in her stomach, and knew her worst fears were going to come true.

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