When I was little, my dad and I spent every Sunday afternoon together. He would come home from work early to take me to the park, the mall, Disneyland, Boomers, Chuck ‘n Cheese-any place far away from home. He spoiled me a lot; he gave all of the money in his pocket for me to play my silly arcade games, bought me all of the newest toys of every store in the mall, and fed me cotton candy for dinner. A year or two later, he opened up his own business and he started working 8-12 hours a day, 7 days a week. I saw him in the morning as he took me to school but our car rides were silent, both us of still feeling a little dazed from a long slumber. He came home late at night and our family ate dinner together with small, fun talk and laughs.
For many occasions, we were definitely like a family. Knowing my dad’s hardworking mentality, he would prefer to work 365 days a year but he still took off holidays so he could spend time with us. It’s hard to describe how life was really like 5 years ago for my family. We frequently transitioned between a normal, happy family to a chaotic, wearisome family. It was definitely a tough time for all of us.
About 3 years ago, my mom was diagnosed with a serious case of anxiety and other physical and mental illnesses. It made times for our family even tougher. My mom wasn’t how she used to be. She stopped making jokes, she faded away from us, she built a shell around her and kept to herself. She had to be taken to the E.R. several times. I remembered coming home from a nice day of school to the news that my mom almost fainted and had to be taken to the hospital.
Then it was like a light had been shone on us. We encountered something that changed our family forever…
We were introduced to meditation. It saved my mom from permanent mental illness and it shaped the morals and values of our family. My parents followed the teachings of being peaceful and compassionate towards one another. Those characteristics have been in them for their entire life, but now they were fully brought out. My parents worked incredibly hard to resist the temptations of going ballistic at one another. They stopped arguing everyday and they acted more like a newly wed couple. Seeing how our lives, especially our parents, take a 180 degree turn for the better inspired me. It completely changed my perspective on life and strengthened my own morals and values. I set higher standards for the characters of others, but I also aspire to be compassionate and empathetic, hoping that one day they too will encounter something that would greatly impact their lives.
Now I have to be honest, my family’s past history has definitely taken a deep toll on my emotional well-being. It still affects me to this day, some are still lingering deep inside, threatening to tear me apart if I’m not strong enough to hold myself together. However, it has given me strength and hope and courage.
The only thing left now is the future of my family along with the relationship between my dad and I, my older brother and my mom. We are still building the trust and bond between one another. It’s not an easy ride but one day we will be able to fully mend each other’s wounds and strive for the best together.
To my parents who have sacrificed all things and dedicated their whole life to me, I will forever be grateful. I promise to make you proud of who I will become. I won’t ever let everything that you have done go to waste. I love you deeply and I will give you that love every single day.
Written with tears and emotions,