Eleven years ago, on July19, 1996, my family and I made the biggest journey of our lives: we moved to Palm Desert, California from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The reason for our move was not the average family wanting new experiences; it was much more severe than that. We moved so that our family could have a better chance of survival after the horrible five- year genocide that we had experienced. Our lives were in constant danger and my parents decided that the best thing for my big sister and me was to have a new start in a land where the opportunities are endless. It’s because of what I have lived through that I truly believe that our experiences shape the person that we become in the future.
There are several experiences that have occurred in my lifetime that have shaped the person that I’m today, but one event stands our more than the others. One night towards the end of June1993, my father was taken away from us. That night around nine o’clock at night, while we were getting ready to go to bed, men dressed in military attire burst through our door and sternly said that my father had to go with them. My mother broke into tears and asked why, but they never gave her an answer. We saw them take him to a caravan that held many more people that they had collected throughout the neighborhood and then drove off towards a foreign direction.
Due to my mother’s constant hope and optimism, my family was able to stay strong and pull through this tough time. She taught me during this time in our lives that one should never give up, you must always stand for what you believe in and in the end it will pay off. Due to her strength and determination she was able to locate my father and bring him back home six months later. The lessons she instilled in my during this time have stayed with me to this day. It’s because of this occurrence that I am able to stay strong when need be, and always have hope. The event taught me that even when it seems like nothing can be done to change the circumstances in your life, hope and determination can lead you to the answer to your problems.
My father’s leave also impacted the attachment that I now have towards my family. After the six months that we were forced to be apart, our family grew closer and realized how much we meant to one another. Today, no matter how many bickering arguments we get into, or how many times we vow to never speak to each other again, we know that in the end we are the most important people in each other’s lives. I would be lying to myself if I didn’t admit that my father’s leave didn’t form a bigger attachment than I previously held, and hence formed the person that I have become.
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