All posts tagged: Elizabeth Tolzmann

Behind Every Lao Community is a Strong Lao Woman

It’s 5am. Mom quietly shuffles in to pick up baby Coraline. Her hands plagued with age and diabetic stiffness carefully cups Coraline’s little head against her chest.  She sways and sings a lullaby. Mellow and sweet, it pierced my memory bank. Where did I hear that before? Familiar. Comforting. An hour passed by. Then I woke up wondering how I fell asleep. Mom laughs. Then quietly remembers. “When the soldiers drove us to the labor camps, you were only a year old. You broke out in hives and couldn’t stop crying. I tried everything. The driver threatened me that he would put a bullet in your head if I didn’t soothe you in one minute. Then I sang and sang and sang my heart out. You finally stopped crying. It was the only lullaby that saved your life.” There’s a Lao saying that your first guardian, your first teacher, and your first love is your mother. My mae is my earth and my moon. That’s the power of being a woman. So when we think …