My Grandma

Essay by wristcameraA+, June 2004

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It was sixteen years ago when she was stubbornly determined to carry her only child on that tiny, crowded boat of about 50 people, out to the dark endless sea to escape to the land of opportunity. Sacrificing to leave behind her family, her friends, the well-run business she created with her own two hands, she decided to go to the United States to begin a new life. The risks and the sightless long journey ahead would shape the way everyone viewed her.

        She was born in Can Tho, Vietnam on September, 1935. Being the eldest of nine children she was responsible to take care of the rest. Later she married a scholar, which her family had forbidden due to his family's lack of wealth. A failed marriage at the end left her with a boy who became her top priority. She worked hard establishing her career as an entrepreneur.

But she was not satisfied. Her ambitions and hope that her child would get the best life possible had led her to take the riskiest journey that will forever leave the fear.

        The night was dark and tension where high. Everyone was nervous and fidgety, afraid that they would be caught by the Vietnamese communists. People were running, walking, talking quietly, and trying to find their family members and friends. While my grandma, alone, held my father tight in one hand and in the other carried two heavy bags of food and clothing, trying to make her way through the muddy grass down the dock where the boat was. When she was holding a 4 year-old child and 2 large heavy bags, she tripped and fell occasionally. "What is that lady thinking!" was probably on everyone's mind. The journey at sea was even more terrifying than the panic feeling of...