Growing up with no shining lights

Monica Griffith

Monica Griffith


Four decades later I realize how much of an impact the non-shining lights had in my childhood. 

Shining path a terrorist group born in the altitudes of Peru, with the idea of fighting for the people, launched its war to overthrow the government and install a new democracy, dimming our lights along their path. 

Appalling atrocities were committed, scarring our national pride and defining who we are today. 
I was a 5-year-old who loved going to school and learning. Meanwhile, the fight in the country was intensifying. Transmission towers were being blown, which meant no light at home.

My grandma took care of me while my mom worked long hours. 
No light at home became our routine "These terrorists blew another one," would be the daily comment. 

Lighting candles to do my homework would be our ritual. I cuddled with my grandma not knowing the real truth behind our dark nights.  
We got a battery-operated radio which was our entertainment, listening to radionovelas, but this radio would also bring us gloomy news. It became our window to the long dark nights. 

While my grandma would listen to the news on the radio about attacks and deaths out there, I, with my vivid child imagination, would picture these men as big giant monsters hiding in every corner. 

I am deeply scared of the dark and unlit areas. I always think my imaginary giant monsters from the past will come out of their hiding. 

Whenever I'm faced with a dark path in life, I light a white candle in my mind, like the ones my grandma kept in the drawer and cuddle in her lap waiting for the bright light to shine again. 

Monica Griffith (née Bazan 1977 in Lima- Peru) moved to WPB in 2005 and works photographing children and families while raising a beautiful little girl. Lives with her husband, daughter, golden retriever, and Chico, a cockatiel, in downtown WPB.

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