Going to a foreign land is everyone’s dream. Most people, especially the young ones, would love to go to other countries to experience how life would be. This opportunity came to me when my father sent me to United States to study Physical Therapy. Many people believe that United States has a very good educational system. In the United states, there is a strong advocacy for first-rate education for everybody,(World Vision) this means that my father is right in saying that I will have a better education in the United States as compared to my country.
When I learned about this news from my father, I had mixed emotions. I did not know how I felt at that time, whether I would be happy or sad. I imagined I would be studying in another continent which is far from my county, Saudi Arabia. On the lighter side, I felt a bit excited because knowing I was going to the United States, was already a big thing because it was everyone’s dream; however I was extremely sad because I knew I was going to be separated from my family, especially from my grandmother who is very close to my heart. The thoughts of leaving my place and my family were so depressing.
It made me cry at night sometimes looking and memorizing every corner of the house where I grew up, because each corner had a lot of good memories that I will always treasure in my heart, specifically, the bedroom I shared with my beloved grandmother. Many people might think that I am over-the-top when I talk about my family, but this is who I really am! I value the importance of my family. Without my family, I will not be the person I am now or ever. My family has supported since birth and all throughout my existence. The members of my family are the people who never turn me down when I need them most and
(Your family name) 3 never turn their backs at me when I am in pain or sorrow. They are there for me, even in my happiness. They shower me with the kind of love and care that nobody else can give me without any expecting anything in return. My mother has taught me to love and show concern for every member of my family. When me and my brothers were still young, immature fights and brawls were somehow unavoidable; however, this did not destroy our brotherly ties because my mother had inculcated in our young minds and hearts the value of being each other’s keeper. People in Saudi Arabia are very particular with family ties.
We are very conscious of our heritage, our culture, our immediate families, and even our extended nuclear families, (Kwintessential). We seek the help of our families at all times, and try to be connected with them as much as possible (Kwintessential). I can vividly remember how my mother prepared our breakfast so that we could eat delicious and nutritious meals before going to school. She was a hands-on mother to us. My mother and my dad never fell short in disciplining us. My mother kept reminding me of the importance of a good education. At a young age, she made me realize that through education, I can be successful in my chosen career.
She motivated me to do well in my studies a lot. On the other hand, since my father was working during the day, he never failed to make it up to us during the evenings or whenever he had free time. He played with us too and brought home goodies for all of us. My parents made sure that we had a family day so that we could bond with each other. That was why when father sent me here to the United States. I was extremely sad instead of excited because I knew I would be home sick and I didn’t know if I could live by myself without them, but since my father explained to me the reason why (Your family name) 4
I needed to come here, I just obeyed him. I was very happy upon seeing the joy in his face when I told him that I got a high GPA which qualified me for admission into the Virginia Common Wealth University (VCU). I know that no parents would seek harmful things for their children. Though my heart ached and I did not want to leave, I obeyed my father. Another reason why I did not want to go was because I was also very attached to my grandmother. When I was in Saudi Arabia, I used to share a room with my grandmother, played games, and shared secrets with her because I was the only girl in the family; she raised me until I was ten years old.
She was a lovely grandmother. She always taught me good things about life at an early age. She didn’t only treat me as her grand-daughter but also as her best friend. We talked about a lot of things. She also supervised me in my studies in as much as my parents were very supportive. She was also a good listener and an adviser who made me express myself and my real feelings towards real-life situations. Her hugs and kisses were enough to relieve me of anything because these made me feel secure and loved. When I was about to leave, my grandmother was very ill. I knew that she was dying.
I knew it in my heart. However my grandmother told me to pursue my dreams and make her proud. When the day came for my departure, I felt so gloomy. When I arrived here in the United States, I cried every night. My pillows were the only witnesses as to how lonely I was. There was even a time when I counted the days towards a chance for a vacation in my country, Saudi Arabia, to meet my love ones again. I really had a hard time coping with the new things that I was experiencing in the United States. I used to wake up with my mother’s voice calling out to us in the morning, waking us up for breakfast.
I used to listen to the sweet words of my grandmother when she would counsel me (Your family name) 5 when I was feeling down. Now, here in the United States, I feel alone. I really miss my family. I tried to live a normal life, pretending that things will be all right. To keep me going, I always kept in heart and mind the memorable events I had with my family way back in Saudi. The time came when my grandmother died because of her illness. I did not know about her death. My parents, especially my father, did not inform me about my grandmother’s death.
Every time I made a phone call to them, I always asked my father about my grandmother’s condition, but every time I mentioned the subject, my father always told me that my grandmother was all right and changed the topic. He made stories just to make me believe that grandma was still alive. When I went home, I found out that my grandmother had died four months before I arrived in Saudi Arabia. I was shocked and hurt that my parents did not tell me about the death of my grandmother. I could not understand at first. I could not imagine that I could no longer see and talk to my best friend, my grandmother.
I can clearly remember how my sickly grandma once told me that she was taking her medication so that she could live long enough to see my children; and so she could carry my children in her arms the way she carried me years ago. Initially, I was very angry with my father who kept the death of my grandmother from me for four months. I was very disappointed and I almost did not want to forgive him, considering that he was the one who always taught us that we should never lie, and yet, he lied to me about my grandmother’s death. Despite my anger, I could not bring myself to hate my father because of our very close family ties.
Later, when he explained to me his reasons for keeping the secret from me, I began to understand his objectives and realize that they were actually protecting me (Your family name) 6 from the possibility that I might not be able to focus on my studies if I became affected by my grandmother’s death. I really had a hard time accepting the her demise, but my father made me understand that they were very concerned of how I would handle the news, and that they were afraid that if I learned about the death of my grandmother, I would become emotionally troubled, aside from my homesickness, and I might not be able to concentrate on my studies.
I completely understand why my parents had kept that from me because I know they did not want me to be burdened anymore; it would only add to my depression of being far from them. There are many things that I realized from this experience. First of all, I understood the meaning of death; that death is not on anybody’s calendar and nobody knows when and how it will, come; but one thing is for sure, everybody will have to face death, no exceptions.
I also realized that although death can take away the physical presence of the person, it cannot destroy the memories and the wonderful thoughts that that person leaves behind to those who are still alive. My grandmother may have died, but she lives on in our hearts and in our minds. Her memory is ever so strong and no death can take that away from us. Death is simply a transition from this life to another, and I remain faithful in the belief that we will all be together again in the end. Perhaps, my grandmother wanted me to learn many lessons from her death.
Maybe she wanted me to learn that her death should not in any way affect how I would view and conquer my future. More than just my father being concerned of how I would take the news, my grandmother must have been very happy of my father’s decision because in her wisdom, she probably knew that her death would be something that could derail me from my future plans; but because she loved me so much, she even thought about me in her deathbed. (Your family name) 7 Although my grandmother already passed away, her good memories are always kept in my heart.
Nobody can replace her. In addition, my family continuously shows their support for me. Although I am the only girl, I thank that my parents for not spoiling me and for teaching me the value of discipline and the importance of family. This personal experience made me a family-oriented individual. It also made me understand how family molds individual characters; hence, a child’s character is a reflection of what kind of family he/she has. I am proud to have had such a wonderful grandmother. I am even more proud that I have a loving, supportive, sensitive, and close family.
Without my family, I would not be able to hurdle the emotional endeavors that I have to face. Although they are far from me, they remain close and present in my heart and mind. The reason for my studying here in the United States is not solely for my personal growth, but for the pride of my family as well. They want me to have the best education possible to prepare me for the challenges of the future and I am very happy that I have a family that is selfless enough to put aside emotional concerns and prioritize my welfare and my future.
Maybe grandma is very happy to see me now, and maybe she is so proud that I was able to go beyond the most difficult of my emotional problems, which is her death. I will move on to achieve wonderful things for my family and for grandma because I know in my heart that if I am to become something or someone in the future, it has to be through my own efforts. My grandma was a very special person in my heart because she was able to touch my life in a way no other person could. I would like to take my grandmas example and survive her memory by touching other people as well, the way she touched me, so that, more than just being
(Your family name) 8 a professional in my chosen field, I will also remain in the hearts of the people I touch, the way my grandma has always remained in my heart, and will remain in here forever. (Your family name) 9 Works Cited Kwintessential Cross Cultural Solutions. 21 Feb. 2009 <http://www. kwintessential. co. uk/resources/global-etiquette/saudi-arabia-country- profile. html>. “Quality Education for All” World Vision. 21 Feb. 2009 <http://www. worldvision. org/content. nsf/learn/globalissues-america-youth-education>.