I’m pretty certain that my parents divorced when I was eight years old; I may be off by a couple of weeks or months since my memory isn’t the best but I know it happened when I was in the third grade.
It was a hard time not only for me but for my mother especially. She was accused of being an illegal immigrant not only by my father but also by the law; it wasn’t an accusation made without some form of truth though: her VISA had expired after college and she went back to Nigeria for a couple of weeks to bury her father, violating some law that I’m still not entirely familiar with. Because of this, my mother ‘lost’ both her full and part time jobs. I put lost in quotations because technically, she still went to work. Each of her employers decided that she would not clock in but still work for them; when she renewed her VISA, they would pay her all the money she was supposed to earn between then. I think when my mom told me this, I was too worried about her immigrant status and too busy feeling helpless to really appreciate what her employers had done for the two of us; not only did they let her keep her job but they wrote letters to the court to help her gain support with the judges. I think it’s easier to see what others have done for you when the moment has passed; now that I’m older, I can really see the impact this has had on our family. I wish I had the chance to thank each and every one of them for their kindness.
I believe in family, friendship, and helping others especially when things are looking down for them. If my mom’s employers simply let her go then I wouldn’t know where we would be today. While I do believe that people should be independent, we should realize that getting help from others isn’t a sign of weakness or vulnerability. I want the people around me to succeed and to see them do this, I will help them to the best of my ability. Helping them doesn’t have to be giant gestures like my mother’s and her employers; it can be simple compliments or encouragement directed towards others. People should be there for one another no matter what happens in their lives. I don’t help them because I feel as if I should receive some kind of big fancy award for what I’ve done. I help them because what they’re doing and who they are have a place in my heart and they are very important to me.
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