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From C to A.

Can we ever understand who we are if we never understand where we came from?

It’s a beautiful day and my dad, sister, and I were just having lunch.

Though our family always eat together, meals have unwittingly become interruptions rather than breaks. My sister and I usually polish our plates quickly, eager to return to our computers or books.

But today, we had some tea and talked about my family’s immigration journey.

My grandfather’s younger brother came to America first to escape the Cultural Revolution. He was detained at Angel Island for a year before stepping foot on American soil. When he finally entered, he brought over his older brother. My grandfather brought over his three children. A wedding and two years of romantic letters later, my mom then brought over my dad.

You know that your parents have had it hard – it’s a fact of life. Rarely, however, do my parents complain. When I was younger, I was upset that they didn’t show me affection the same way American families did – with hugs, I-love-you’s, and packed lunches.

But

they moved across an ocean for us. Left all that was familiar for the chance that future generations would have a better life. They didn’t go back to China when life was unbearable.

Can any sacrifice I make ever demonstrate that level of love?

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