I don’t really tell this story too much because I never felt I had the complete rights to tell it, but since, I’ve begun to see the parallels. This story feels like the start of my own story. It’s shaped my core.
When my mom was 16, her father died, plunging her family into poverty. My grandma (another fierce warrior) became an at home seamstress to make ends meet. But my mom, knowing that they wouldn’t have enough money to put all of her siblings through school, sacrificed her education so that her brother could complete college and create a sustainable life for himself and their mom. So, at 20 my mom dropped out of college and got married to my dad.
For two years, my mom lived with her in laws while my dad lived and worked in New York. A year and a half in, she gave birth to me and decided that she needed to escape the abusive and constrictive conditions she endured in India. For me. For my future.
After long arguments, threats, and despair, my dad got us white cards for Canada and from there we made our way to the United States– undocumented. My mom spent the first seven years of her life in New York without knowing anyone or even having the option of going back to India and seeing her family. She literally risked and sacrificed everything so that I never had to dream with limits.
I’m still filled with questions and awe when I think of these moments in our lives. Especially today, after seeing how much love she’s been able to grow in her marriage and family, my mom amazes me. My mom is a tale of time, bravery, and selflessness. This strong belief she’s had in herself feels hereditary. Her mom has it, my mom has it, and she’s passed it down to me. My mom is the American Dream.
Reposted from @pranjalljain