by Jenny Chang
I always believed my father never understood me. But reality is, I never tried to understand him. Being the teenager I was, I believed that the world revolved around me which is why I never stopped to try to understand my father’s behavior. Perhaps I never tried to understand him was because I felt that he was trying to confine me. Because of that it made me believe that he could never understand me. After interviewing my father about his life, made me realize that his overprotective nature was not because he did not understand be, but because he wanted the best for me.
Recently I realized how much perseverance my father has. Majority of his childhood and young adulthood was spent alone. He had to flee from communism alone. He fled to Bangkok at the age of sixteen alone. While escaping from the police in Thailand, he was alone. When entering the refugee camp, he was alone. Finally leaving the refugee camps, he flew to Arizona alone. Upon arriving to San Francisco, he was finally reunited with my family at age twenty-four.
After talking to my professor, I realized the survival of my father was a miracle, especially since he has encountered many dangerous events within his lifetime. I began to wonder, what kept my father going? I am still unsure of the answer, but what I do know is that my father has been fighting since he was a young boy. While soldiers fight in war, my father is fighting a whole different war. He is fighting a war against the world and he does not allow the world to defeat him. The strength and persistence to survive to me is powerful. My father has always been a warrior, fighting his own battles to provide for me, my sister and brother to achieve the unthinkable.
I wrote this piece because I was inspired after interviewing my father about his life and his immigration to America. This piece was also an awakening for me, that everything my father does has a reason and purpose. This piece is dedicated to my father to show him my appreciation and new found admiration for him.