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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Y Is For Younger Years

Looking back I couldn't recall how my sisters and I survived the first few years in the United States. The only thing that stood vividly out in my mind was we studied the DICTIONARY almost 24 hours a day. We had to learn the meaning of each word in order to keep up with school.

Our sponsors set up a table and four chairs in the living room, and that was where we gathered. Heads buried deep down in the dictionary to do homework as soon as we got home from school and late into the night. We only watched television during the weekend when we had companies. My three younger sisters caught on faster in learning the language, and I found that watching television I could learn much more also.

The tension in our house was as thick as a rope. My parents had their own pain and confusion. My older brother faced his own uncertain future of whether to continue his journey to priesthood or to stay home to help the family. He was (and is) the oldest male, so the duty as such was not an easy thing to fathom.

1975 was the year of doom for us! Our lives turned upside down within the blink of an eye, and stripped bare next to nothing. We lost everything. The earthy possessions we had left was the clothes on our bodies. We could make friends, and shared all the hardship one day, only to lose them the next, or never saw them again. Life was very temporary at its best.

With heavy heart and mind, we went on since it was the only thing we can do. Everyone carried his/her own miseries but marched on. I seemed to skip my entire teenager years, and childhood years for that matter. We all existed but more like a shadow of being, and got by one day at a time. There was no direction at to which road to follow.

There was no talk of the future, how to plan for it, or what to expect from it. The future was just another "tomorrow". Now looking back, I realized that the younger generations have a better concept of life, and most of them have a concrete plan for their future, or at least they know what they want out of life.

Joining Alphabe-Thursday!

(Listed in the Teenager Years!) Registered & Protected


  1. Beautiful story. It must have been a hard life.

  2. Mumsy, you are such a strong and sensitive woman. You survived to share your story with others. It is bittersweet and moving.

  3. It must have been so difficult getting through that period Mumsy. You could only do it one day at a time.

  4. What an amazing way to learn language! I used to read the almanac.

  5. How tough that must have been! I hope writing about it is cathartic for you.

  6. I am so sad for the teenager you were, but the woman you have become is strong and compassionate...

  7. I always feel better thinking about the younger years...isn't it funny how smells and tastes from our childhood just keep coming back to remind of simple days...

  8. You're a much stronger person now for having been through that, I'm sure. Wow.

  9. Thanks ladies for your meaningful comment and support.

    @ Karen S.
    I'm not sure if I share the same reminiscing of your beautiful childhood in this post..

  10. what insightful post,

    we all learn from our past.

  11. "The only thing that stood vividly out in my mind was we studied the DICTIONARY almost 24 hours a day"- this reminded me of my husband's story of his agony in his first few years here adjusting to US life.

  12. My heart just breaks for you and your family every time I read about your past and the struggles you went through when you first came to the US. It's something I can never even imagine about because I've always lived a comfortable life. The fact that you and your family made it through those tough times just shows how strong all of you are. It takes a lot of strength for people to make it through so much pain and confusion.

  13. You have been through a lot. You and your family are survivors. Made you who you are today. Able to helps others as well. Safe hugs to you Mumsy.

  14. Your journey from one culture to another totally differeet has been amazing! Thank you for telling your story.

  15. While those early years of living on quicksand studded with the broken glass of the times, surely made you stronger...

    I can't even imagine surviving such a continual onslaught of challenges and pain.

    You humble me.

    And inspire me.

    If you can survive all that who am I to complain.

    Thanks for sharing your heart here.



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