What makes a Family
It was three o’clock 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 Yana 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 coat and a suitcase next to me. Prior to my relatives leaving, we would spend every weekend, holiday and special occasion together. I would impatiently wait for the weekend to come so I can see my cousin Yana 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. Within a few months, I realized that this was not the case. My grandparents were occupied with their jobs and other responsibilities. Yana lived to far 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. “I wish you were a boy” he said, “I 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...
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