My father is the youngest in his family growing up with two older brothers and three older sisters. My father married my mother in Laos when they were at the age of fifteen. His parents never approved of their marriage, but the love that is there was too strong to let go. It was a time of hardship for both of them after the wedding was over. They worked hard to show to his parents how dedicated they are to be able to build a relationship with his parents, but as it turns out his parents are ignorant and blinded by hatred. They could care less accepting her into the family. It was just unacceptable in the eyes of his mother.
1988 was the year we immigrated to the United States of America along with my grandparents. The family was already growing. I have an oldest brother, oldest sister, myself then my youngest brother. My parents’ reason to immigrate to the United States was for freedom. Here in America was the solution to get away from the ongoing tragic horror they experienced, thousands and thousands of miles away. Well, at least for the moment it seemed like it was, until life was introduced to the American society where wealth and fame was every man’s dream. School and work was the ideal for most average Americans who could not afford a Mercedes Benz or a BMW, but a living and paying rent.
Time was hard in America for our family. My grandparents were living with us at the time. Luckily, my second uncle and aunt were already here years before us, so they knew how the system works and where to get resources. Things turned out to be less difficult then intended, which was some relief. My father gradually learned how to drive and finally got his driver license. He took classes to gain some education and English as his second language. Then he started looking for jobs from companies that would hire him and eventually was successful. He was hired to do assembly work, although, the pay was not enough and he had to make the sacrifices. Every year was a year of struggle for us, until my parents finally got assistance and food benefits from the government. All my siblings and I were still too young to understand the meaning of life and the purpose of being parents. All we knew what to do was play, eat, and cause trouble. We did not realize how much we put our parents through, and yet, they are still struggling, sacrificing, and working hard to put food on the table for us.
My grandparents were not the ideal grandparents anyone would imagine as the loving and caring type. They were the type who chooses who to like and who not to like. They were stubborn and selfish. During the period they were living with us, not a single time they would buy snacks, fruits or vegetables and share with my siblings or me. They would take what they buy and hide it in their room, and every-time they want to snack on it, they would go to their room, lock the door until they are done. Any one of us who knocks on the door would get yell at when my parents are not home. They were more giving and loving towards my father’s sister kids and my oldest uncle’s kids. I could still remember one time they bought brand new clothes and gave it to the rest of my cousins and gave my siblings and I the old clothes they had brought with them from Laos. The clothes were small on us with ripped sleeves and torn on the knees. My parents were angry but they were not able to say anything. So they politely gave the clothes back and told them they had already bought us new clothes to wear. They sat down when my grandparents are not around, as tears drop from their eyes holding us and telling us they love us. It was very sad moment but we were too young to understand what they were going through. We wonder to ourselves why they had given the torn clothes back when all the other kids got theirs.
As time passed on, my grandparents decided to move out on their own, it was a difficult situation because they were old. As much as my parents wanted them to stay it did not work out. They eventually moved on their own. We were still communicating, but it was only from time to time. We finally decided to move and took my grandparents to Michigan with us to start our new lives. Most of our relatives resided there. Everyone in my family was all grown up into their teens and moving on with their teen lives. A few years later my father got into an accident during the winter, his Toyota tundra was totaled. I was in school at that time and did not know of the incident. My father was still at the hospital, when I got back home, few hours later he came home. I was not sure how he got home but the first thing he said when he got home was how much he loves the whole family. Everyone was in tears but no one knew how he got home or what was going on. My uncles were not much of a help, they did not bother to check on my father or to see how he was at the hospital. Even my grandparents did not worried or check to see how he was. Things seem to always be apart with my father’s family. It is either that they do not care or just did not want anything to do with my family. My parents had to make a tough choice to move to a different state, so we moved to St.Paul, Minnesota, to be on our own without always being close to my father’s family. Since then, we had lived in Minnesota for the past five years, and we are living the greatest life ever. We did not have to always worry about trying to get some sympathy from my father’s side, we knew they were far away and that was for the best.
Not everyone can have the best family tree relationship, but the most important thing in life is knowing that you are moving on with your life to the fullest and enjoying it while it lasts.