What makes a family

Family It was three pickoff In the morning on a cold spring night In 1988. My parents woke me up and told me it was time to get ready to go to the airport. We were leaving Russia to move to the united States. My grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins had moved to the United States a few years back. I was ecstatic to be once again reunited with my relatives especially with my cousin Yang who I was very close to. I Jumped out of bed with so much excitement; I can almost see my heart pumping out of my chest.

It was a matter of minutes until I was standing by the door wearing my Black oat and a suitcase next to me. Prior to my relatives leaving, we would spend every weekend, holiday and special occasion together. I would Impatiently Walt for the weekend to come so I can see my cousin Yang and my grandparents. My grandmother would bring little gifts every time she saw me and my grandfather was my hero, regardless of the situation I can always count on him to take my side. Upon moving to Brooklyn, I expected that everything would continue to be the same as It once was In Russia.

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Within a few months, I realized that this was not the case. My grandparents were occupied with their jobs and other responsibilities. Yang lived to ar of a distance to walk so our time together was limited. We no longer had time to see each other on weekends or spend holidays together. My parents had also become extremely busy trying to construct a new life and part of that process required for them to work on weekends. My father was struggling to accept that he was once a business owner in Russia and now a blue collar worker.

He soon began to channel his anger and frustration on me. “l wish you were a boy’ he said, “l could have taught you manly things. ” However, he never took the time to Inquire about my life or teach me about life. Soon, I did not Like spending time at home. I would often find myself feeling lonely and wishing I had a brother or a sister that I can be close to. I wanted to feel what it would be like to be loved again. During my first summer in Brooklyn I felt lonely. School was out of session and I had no friends.

I would be at the playground near my house watching other kids having fun. My English was still not very good and I had trouble approaching the other children. One day I noticed a girl that, like me, was also alone. She was sitting on a bench about ten feet away and noticed her glancing at me. Within a few minutes she approached me and asked in Russian “what is your name? ‘ “Lairs. And what Is yours” I replied. Her name was Anna. She was instantly very talkative and continued asking me questions such as “where are you from? ” and “how far is your home? We ended up staying at the playground until sundown, and it was one of my happiest days from that summer. It did not take us long to become close, We spent every day of that summer together and I realized that her situation was very similar to mine. She had also moved with her parents from Russia not too long ago. Eventually they divorced and her mother gave the responsibility of raising her to her grandparents. Unlike me, however, Anna was stronger and more confident. She had control of her emotions and could not be Influenced by others. The opinion of others also did not matter. Be who you want to be, not who others want you to be,” she said “But I don’t want to make my father 1 OFF “He is already always angry, what difference does it make? ” she said “I am scared I will be in trouble” I said “We will face the consequences together” she said I thought that if I followed her lead, maybe I too can come out of my shell and be as strong as she was. Anna was protective of me and cared for me as if I was her little sister. After school we would often go to her grandparents’ house for dinner and it made me nostalgic of the days my grandmother would cook for me in Russia.

After a while her grandparents accepted me as their own grandchild. They invited me to all of their special occasion and holidays. I began spending more time with them instead of my own family. One morning after leaving her grandmother’s house to go to school, Anna stopped unexpectedly. She grabbed my arm and said “can I ask you a question? ” I was confused and hesitantly said “sure. ” “Do you want to be blood sisters? ” she asked. “How do we do that? ” I asked puzzled. Let’s both cut our pinkies, put them together, and we will become sisters by blood” she answered.

We felt so strong about our friendship that on May 21st, 1992 we created an unbreakable bond. Anna became the sister I had always wanted. When I needed to turn to someone for advice or for help I turned to Anna. She did not Judge and supported me regardless if I was right or wrong. I have never trusted a person so much in my life. We discussed education, relationships, careers and marriage. This was something I was unable to do with any of my family members. Of course, we would have our disagreements and fights, but through it all our bond always minded strong.

We laughed together, cried together and shared life’s ups and downs together. I was blessed to have her in my life. When I reminisce about that day, I realize that although what we did was childish, it also speaks a powerful message. While your parents will always be your family through birth, as you go through life you determine who you can call family. Anna showed me that this can extend to include those that are not your relatives. In my life, Vive formed my family to be people that influence my life, who help me through tough times, and who love and support me regardless of the circumstances.

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Sarah
Danielle
Wilson
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