“Shinin’ on Me” is a new song by Jerrod Niemann. It’s from his album, “Free the Music,” which officially came out today. If you haven’t heard the song yet, it will make you tap your toes, run outside and flop on the grass with your face toward the sun! Yep, it’s that kind of day … a great day to launch a blog.
I am in love with the lyrics of Niemann’s song particularly “life is taking turns, falling flat on your chin, trying to fly with the birds.” I can really relate to that this week. For almost two years, I’ve been trying to get my mother’s green card replaced.
It’s kinda an interesting story. In a peanut shell, my mom was born in Holland in 1933. She survived the Nazi occupation of Holland and immigrated to America on her father’s passport in 1948. She was just 14 years old.
Fast forward a bunch of years. She married, had five kids and a bushel basket full of grandkids. But she never became an American citizen. It was almost two years ago when mom went down to the DPS to get the address on her driver’s license changed. They asked her a simple question that would turn into a quest-like search for the Holy Grail.
“Are you an American citizen?” the DPS clerk asked.
Of course mom wasn’t, and for that matter, she couldn’t prove where she belonged. No green card, no passport, and a driver’s license that would expire in a year.
“I lost my green card in 1948 shortly after I received it,” was mom’s answer.
It was the first time in 63 years that anyone asked for her green card. How does that happen? The clerk told her to come back when she could prove it. Easier said than done. Over the next two years, I went down to our local immigration office with mom more times than I care to count. Mom wasn’t in the government computer. Or course she wasn’t! They didn’t have computers in 1948. Her stuff was probably in the bottom of a moldy box in some basement somewhere. That would require research and waiting. I told mom during our first visit that getting her green card was going to be a quest. I was right.
It only took three months to get her alien number but immigration neglected to give us another piece of information we needed to fill out the application to replace her card. Six months later we learned from the powers-that-be her file was stamped “classified” because it was suspected that someone was trying to steal her identity. Really?
The Freedom of Information Act allowed my mom to get copies of her entry documents so I could fill out the application. It only took three months to get that. So, in the mean time, mom is freaking out driving around with an expired driver’s license. The day we overnighted everything off, I told my mother that one of two things was going to happen. The first is they would just replace the green card and dogs and cats would live in harmony again. The second … they would reject her application but would tell us why and then we’d deal with it.
Today … the day Jerrod Niemann’s song “Shinin’ on Me” came out … my mom got a letter. She is going to get her green card!!!! It’s why I’m “sitting with my feet in the breeze, ain’t sweating the little things, and who know what tomorrow is gonna bring, but today, the sun is shinin’ on me.” Thanks Jerrod!