Family Across Borders

family photoA family is a family. This should not be affected by whether or not a member of the family is overseas. Even across borders, it is important to understand how significant the family is, and family sacrifices are. It is also important to highlight the strength and love of this type of families. Parents sacrifice a lot for us and they work all their lives for their family. It takes a lot of courage to face something totally knew such as a new career or a new country.

I have a lot of respect for overseas workers. They should be treated with the utmost respect for the sacrifice they make for their families. Some may take overseas workers for granted because some may think that overseas workers have it easy being in a new country and working to make a lot of money for their family. It is not as easy as it seems. These workers face a new atmosphere, a new culture, and new people. Some overseas workers have to start their lives all over again. Some may even take on jobs that they have never done before and could be lower than their jobs in their home country, which happens to pay a little more. Some migrate without knowing anyone, without knowing how to speak the language, and even without knowing if they will be able to come back to their families. Starting a new life can be one of the hardest things people can face in their entire lives. I faced this hardship when I immigrated to the United States. I can only imagine how hard it was for other people to leave their husband, wife, children, mother, father, siblings, and loved ones, to set off to a new journey into an unknown place. This is why I find overseas workers to deserve a high degree of respect and honors for what they do every day for their families.

For a few years, my dad was working in the United States, while my mom, my brother, and I were living in the Philippines. I remember crying in the car after dropping him off at the airport and even longing for his phone calls. I remember that day when I saw him again after I moved to the United States and how I ran to him in tears and hugged him. I found that he kept all my letters that I sent him over the years. I am extremely thankful, but I realize that not everyone is as fortunate as I have been.

Some children are left behind in their countries and do not see their parents for a long time. There is a certain degree of separation that occurs here which may divide families, and I personally believe that it can be easily overcome. First, parents and their children must understand each other. No parent wants to leave their children behind, but sometimes, it is necessary to make ends meet financially. Children must understand that this sacrifice is for them. Second, parents must understand that their children do miss them and should do whatever they can to contact them and let them know that they are okay and communicate their unconditional love towards them. This is where technology plays a key role.

 We must communicate both love and gratitude to our families across the borders. Overseas workers should try their best to call home, send letters or messages, and since technology is a wonderful thing, we can now even Skype and video chat with our loved ones. Both parents and children must show that unconditional love in these new ways, and visit regularly as much as possible. Finally, we should be thankful for each other and show such an appreciation by working hard in our education and occupations. While we might not be able to physically hug them, hold their hands and cry in their shoulders, but we have words. Words are just as powerful. It always means so much for a parent to hear love and appreciation from their child and vice versa. In the end, this comes back to the fact that even families across borders can just be as strong that regular families.

 By John Sapida, a WYA HQ Intern.