I am not a very patriotic person. Yeah, I love America. It’s wonderful. Though there are limitations and conditions, I can say what I feel and do what I want. I am free. I sometimes take for granted where I come from. I know my dad is proud to be an American. He put his life on the line in order to come here. In the 1980s, shortly after the Vietnam War, Laos was taken over by a communist government. Many refugees fled, including my dad, by swimming across a river. My dad loves telling people his story. I love hearing it. It gives me chills every time. He risked his life, swimming across a river with a group of his close friends, while soldiers were firing at them. He lost his best friend, but dad knew that his friend wanted him to continue fighting, continue pressing forward.
He survived and made it to America. After spending a few years in America, learning English, and working, dad traveled back home and met my mom. After a year or so of exchanging love letters back and forth, he brought her to America to marry her. A couple more years passed by and mom gave birth to three little girls.
Memorial Day is another day to remember the brave who made us free, to celebrate the heroes who gave us freedom. Many celebrate this holiday by grilling out, going to the beach, or attending memorial day events. So far, I celebrated by attending the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra Concert. It was a beautiful evening with a great friend, delicious food, and lovely music.
Today, my family and I went to Wind Creek State Park on Lake Martin. We woke up bright and early for a summer day to leave. It was only a 45 minute trip through the middle of nowhere. My favorite part about driving through Wetumpka are the little farmer markets, fruit stands, fireworks stands, and church buildings. I also love the tree-lined roads. I appreciate nature more though I’m sitting in a moving vehicle that doesn’t appreciate nature. The Khantisouriyas take an annual trip to Lake Martin, and since we welcomed a Crocker to the family, it’s a reason to celebrate and be together.
Even though my older sister is living the married life, she still cuts up with her little sisters. Dad grilled his famous chicken wings and whipped up some spicy thum mak hoong, or a close translation: papaya salad. We also never leave the house without the sticky rice. In the words of my little sister, we “gotta stay true to our roots.” The weather was beautiful. It was the perfect mix summer heat and summer breeze. I finally had the chance to wind down, relax, and just be. I am so thankful for quality time with my family.
So this weekend, spend time thanking those who were and are brave enough to keep this country free. Also, don’t take your family for granted. Life gets crazy when everyone starts growing up. Though he didn’t fight on the front lines, my dad was brave to make us free. So, thanks dad. Thanks for giving up your home and risking your life to make our family free. Thank you for making America my home sweet home.
Measure Your Life in Love