I've mentioned here previously the wonderful Elizabeth Fernando, who was the caregiver for my mother and father, and now my dad. She and my mother had an almost mother-daughter relationship, and I've always referred to Elizabeth as an angel on earth. I always refer to her husband Emmanuel as the luckiest man on earth. He acknowledges the point and agrees with it
Emmanuel's main job is working for a local bank, though on his day off he helps out with my dad on Sundays, or when needed. "Or when needed" is I think Emmanuel's middle name. He's as warm, attentive, bright, supportive, meticulous and decent as you could want in a person. Perhaps that's what comes from living with Elizabeth. Though I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe that's what she liked about him in the first place.
The two of them are absolute gems of people. I'll just leave it at that, since it pretty much suffices. They're from Sri Lanka, though have been in the United States for a long time, over 20 years, if I count correctly, and have raised three terrific, accomplished children. They've had green cards and have long-wanted to become citizens, but for reasons much too convoluted to explain, this always hit snags. And for the longest time, it looked like it wouldn't happen. Finally, though, a year or so ago, the family finally got approved by an immigration judge to start the process for citizenship.
At last, they got to the point of being able to take their tests. Because of logistics, the way bureaucracy happens meant that the tests weren't all taken at the same time. A couple months ago, the three children were the first to take and pass their tests. Then, a short while later, Emmanuel did, as well. And a couple of weeks ago, to complete the circle, the angel on earth Elizabeth did.
Emmanuel's swearing-in ceremony was yesterday. He sent me a simple note, "I am proud to be an American." With a "thumbs-up" emoticon.
We're a better country for it.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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