This I Believe

Josephine - Thousand Oaks, California
Entered on May 6, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family, immigrant

Father’s Tale

More than once mother had told me that father went to eight different schools before he could complete his elementary school education. Father was born during a troubled and turbulent time of Chinese history. Years of suppression, foreign invasions, political upheavals, and civil war devastated China, altered lives, separated families, and forced many in to exile from the land their ancestors called home.

At the age of eight, father fled China with his mother and headed for Taiwan to escape the communist take over. He still remembers how, at the chaotic airport, desperate people who couldn’t get on the last flight clung onto the plane’s wing and fell off as the aircraft took off.

Father never speaks of his childhood experiences, but I believe those years of instability haunted him. I believe it is because of those memories that father willingly gave up everything he had established in Taiwan to immigrate his family to America – to give us what he never had as a child – life with safety and security.