My parents came to America in 1975 with nothing more than the clothes on their back, their 6 month old daughter, a couple bottles of formula, very little money, and a dream to raise their kids in a place with better opportunities than the turmoil that was happening in Vietnam at the time. My dad worked a graveyard shift and went to school full time to get his degree in computer science. My mom also worked a full time job, went to school, and raised three kids. I guess as I get older, my appreciation for all the things my parents have done and sacrificed in their lives grows stronger and stronger. My parents were hard on us growing up, but they never wanted more for me and my siblings than to be a good person, adhere to our Vietnamese culture, get an education, and have things better than what they had.
My parents also sponsored about 20+ people in my extended family to come to America so they too can take advantage of the many opportunities America has. First and foremost an education. I don’t think people realize how good they really have it here. Getting an education in Vietnam is sometimes secondary to putting food on the table over there. On my trip to Vietnam I saw how hard my family worked at putting their kids into good schools so their kids can have it better than they did. It was really humbling to see how hard it is over there. It puts me to shame to have seen the struggles and their appreciation for the little things that we over here take for granted. How can people complain about their jobs and their rut in life?! You have every opportunity to change things, but you have to make the choice. My parents and family made the change. I have no sympathy anymore for the bitching and whining.
I think one of the most unique things about me and my family is my Vietnamese background. What I love most about Nick is the interest he takes in our culture and the drive to learn about it and the language. Some things he won’t understand, but he respects it. I can’t ask for anything more from him. I am so lucky for him and the friends who take a real genuine interest in my background. How many people take a real interest in their background? Their family tree? Hardly none! And why not? I have no idea.
The biggest lesson my parents have taught me is not to be selfish. I see so many selfish people everyday. It drives me insane to no end. I find myself distancing from these types of people because honestly I don’t feel they have any worth to me. Who I want to surround myself with are people with goals, a zest for life, a positive outlook…. a purpose. A purpose that goes further than things and money. My parents have worked hard all their life for me, my sister and brother. I would be nowhere without them. I guess it is hard for people to understand my high expectations when they don’t know the full history of my family and how I was raised. Friends come and go, but family is forever. I love you mom and dad!