Community//

Counting quarters in close quarters

Reconnecting and re-living my parents' hardships in the pandemic.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

I was two when my family moved to Australia from the Philippines. In the ’80s and ’90s, a lot of Filipinos looked to migrate to the US, Canada and Australia. Martial Law, under the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was just lifted and families were looking for a better life overseas. It was also the time that ‘White Australia policy’ and other racially-based immigration criteria were being dismantled.

I don’t remember much about the move – I just remember living in my aunt’s living room at first and then moving into a granny flat with my mum, dad and sister, and having ‘Lola Olga’, our Italian nonna landlady as my babysitter.

My mum told me that when she was looking for a job and couldn’t find one straight away she went on the dole which made her feel quite low. But both my parents worked hard and it all worked out for us…so that’s why I never thought of guts and grit it took my parents to survive in a whole new country. I never thought to ask more about it or even thank them for moving.

***

Being in close quarters with my husband during this pandemic makes me think about my family and all it has taken to bring us here.

It’s made me realise my parents’ strength and my own strength as a person who has started a family too.

Before this pandemic and before I got married late last year, I did not understand that ‘family first’ could be a driving force. It can be the reason why you wake up in the morning to work or move to another country for a better future. Or something that could make you so vulnerable and strong at the same time.

Family can be your WHY or the thing that propels you forward to take a chance on a new possibility despite the risk.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

We struggle when we don’t spend time together, with Dr. Ely Weinschneider and S.J. Kurtini

by Dr. Ely Weinschneider, Psy.D.
Community//

The Solitude Spectrum: Disconnection from Social Distancing to Solitary Confinement

by Simone Heng
Community//

TO WORK OR STAY HOME? 7 STEPS TO MAKE SURE YOU GET IT RIGHT

by Paula Widerlite

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.