Dr. and Mrs. David E. Grimm were married recently in St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. Their parents are Mr. and Mrs. Harry W. Townshend Jr. of Mitchellville and Mr. and Mrs. Clyde E. Grimm of Davidsonville, Md. The former Sarah Townshend is a nurse at Anne Arundel General Hospital and a graduate of the University of North Carolina. Dr. Grimm, a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, is doing a residency at Prince George's General Hospital. t. 26.
All she brought with her were two gold rings her mother gave her before she left. What little light comes into the aprtment shines on the gold rings. The fingers tremble. Her eyes shine.
"You take your life in your own hands," she says through her interpreter. "You have to flee from your own life."
After three days and three nights they landed on an island in Malaysia. Men came with guns. The men on board were beaten until they were bloody, the women screamed and would not stop screaming. They were told they were not supposed to land. They didn't know where to go. They thought about Australia, but someone said it was 2,500 miles away. They wandered in their boat until it ran aground on a coral reef. People from a poor fishing village came to rescue them, fed them and gave them a place to sleep in a big communal house, gave them coconut milk to drink
In time they were taken to the main refugee camp at Pulau Bidong. They slept on the beach, they went out to the woods to break up branches for shelter. They dreamed of the day their names would be called on the loudspeaker and they would leave, but they worried as well. They thought of America as a sort of paradise, but then Malaysia had not turned out as they expected.
Now, she says, you feel so lost, so small on this gigantic scale. Now she sits alone in the small apartment puzzled by American gadgets, while her husband works as a janitor during the day. It was an arranged marriage, a good one.
In time, the English will come, that is what is most important now. And, in time, a certain justice. "The basic belief is in the goodness of heaven and in Buddha. No wicked people can last forever." Her voice rises on the tide of her emotions. "In this we all believe. There must be good days."
Four dark heads watch her tears. She has two daughters, 18 and 8, a young son, 7. Her baby girl is only 5 months old, born in the refugee camp. Le looks at her daughter, growing up in Arlington, beyond the shelter of the village and its shared values, beyond the reach of tradition's legacy, the communal nod of approval on her path through life, shadows