Life is like a journey where we gather experiences, some of which are so powerful that they become indelible memories, just as a newborn cannot be parted from their mother.
Embarking on my life journey has led me to unforgettable experiences that have taught me valuable lessons about life and the people around me. These experiences have greatly influenced who I am today, like one particular moment when my father, an elementary school teacher facing financial hardships, decided it was time for a change in our family’s situation. He grew tired of seeing other families enjoying luxuries while we struggled to provide even a basic dinner for ourselves.
My father chose to relocate to the United States of America in pursuit of a better life or to chase his American dream. He departed from my mother and pledged to come back for us within two months. With only 200 dollars in his possession, he left us with a mere 50 dollars to sustain ourselves during the following two months.
Attempting to survive on a mere $50 for a duration of two months is a challenging task, particularly when daily gas purchases are necessary to maintain heat within our home. Despite my mother’s best efforts to make the most of those $50, she was unsuccessful; it felt as though the cost of everything had suddenly multiplied. The money did not even last us 20 days, and at that point, I realized we were bound to become financially exhausted for the subsequent 40 days, which felt like an eternity.
Feeling worthless, witnessing my mother’s tears because she couldn’t provide us with food was a heartbreaking experience. Our meals were limited to just bread and water, reflecting the dire state of our finances. Even our refrigerator was empty, mirroring the growling in our hungry stomachs.
After a few days, the current situation became intolerable for me, prompting me to recognize my duty in becoming the head of the household. Witnessing my mother’s tears and my sisters’ hunger pangs was unbearable. I contemplated various solutions such as theft or seeking financial assistance from other relatives; however, my pride prevented me from resorting to such desperate measures.
Despite feeling uninspired, I had no choice but to visit the farmers market on Saturdays and salvage discarded items. It was an unpleasant task and most of what I acquired would likely repulse even animals. However, being independent and self-reliant was important to me, so I continued.