My Father has always been a hardworking man. My grandfather did not allow my

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1 Topic: Abstract: My Father s Hard Life My Father has always been a hardworking man. My grandfather did not allow my father to attend school and had to start working at the age of 8 years old. He had to look after his younger siblings and work in my grandfather s farm because he was the oldest brother. Even though my father did not have an education, he was able to read and write on his own. My father was given many responsibilities but did not gain much from helping my grandfather, so this influenced him to move to the U.S. in order to find a better life. My father is an inspiration to my life because of his hard work and dedication to his family. Key words: role model, opportunity, education, work, inspire, influence, money, economy. My father has influenced my life and my identity in a positive way. He has been a good role model for me and my siblings. The reason I say this is because as long as I can remember he has worked hard to give us a better life; he always taught me that education would bring me good opportunities in life, for he never had the opportunity to receive good education when he was little. My dad has also been a father figure to his younger siblings as well, for he was forced to take care of them to help his parents. For being the older brother, he was given a lot of responsibilities at a very early age. My dad has also been a good father, for he tried to raise us without having to use physical punishment like his father did to him. I think that he is an admirable person for not being influenced by his own father, for my grandfather was abusive and neglected him and his siblings when they were growing up. I think that turning those experiences and using them as something positive is what makes him a good role model for me.

2 My father was born and raised in a small farm called San Martin in southern Mexico; his parents could not really afford to take care of him and the rest of the family, so they had to send him to work when he was 8 years old. He had to stop attending school in order to help the family around the farm, but even though it was a requirement for kids to attend school, parents were not forced to send their kids if they chose not to. My dad was really upset so he asked his dad to send him, but he got reprehended, so whenever he had a chance, he would sneak out once a week and join a class for a few hours. Teachers did not care at that time, so they would let my dad sit in class; he could not really learn much in those few hours, so he decided to start reading on his own and practice his writing skills. When I look at my dad s writing now, it is hard to tell that he learned to write on his own. Learning this about my dad has inspired me to continue my education at a higher level. To add, at the age of 17 years old, my father married my mother, but he continued to care for his younger siblings whenever they needed him. Even though my grandfather was around, he did not pay attention to him or his younger siblings because he would go out and drink. My grandfather was not a good influence to my dad, but he decided to not be like him. My dad had to care for his younger siblings and look after them, so he was more like a father to them. He worked hard during the day, doing work around the farm, taking care of the animals, he basically worked the land more than my grandfather, but my grandfather never recognized this and would often yell at him whenever something didn t go right. My dad was married then, but he wanted to keep helping my grandfather in order to continue looking out for his other five younger siblings. Even though they were only his brothers, he felt that it was his responsibility to take care of them in order to not let them go through the same situation he was going through. He wanted to protect them from my grandfather, so he tried to be there for them as long as he could.

3 Now that my uncles have their own family, they still remember what he did for them, and they respect him. When my dad turned 21 years old he decided it was time to move on with his own family. When he and my mom had their third child, they went to another city to start a life on their own, but because my dad did not have a good education he could not find a good job, so he had to move to an area where he was most likely to find a job doing farm work or in the fields. It was around the early 1980 s when the economy began to get worst in Mexico and it was hard to afford a living there he had to work for long hours and received very little pay, so it became harder to raise his family, so my mother had to start working too. My dad did not want my mother to work because he felt that the three children were being neglected. He did not want my older siblings to stay home on their own because they could not afford to pay for a babysitter, so he wanted to find a quick solution to his economic problems. He almost gave up, but he did not want to return to my grandfather s farm because he would feel like a failure, and he didn t want to work for my grandfather either. He wanted to build his own success and did not want to work for my grandfather because he knew that he would never receive anything from him. After I was born, my dad made the hard decision to come to California; he left my mother with three kids, but he knew that if he continued to work in Mexico he would never be able to afford a better living for my mom and my family. It was hard for him to leave my mother alone with three kids, but he told my mother that he would try to go back to Mexico as soon as he had enough money saved. Instead, my dad decided to stay in California longer, and he promptly began to save money so that he could apply for legal residency in the U.S. When he was able to accomplish this, he began to process our application as well because he did not want to risk our lives if we were to leave the country illegally. It took about five years and a lot of hard work to

4 have all the documents processed but he was able to accomplish this for our family. He had promised us that he would bring us to stay with him, and when our residency was approved, I was happy that we could finally come to California and have all my family together. Coming to America was hard because I had to get used to the environment, but I never resented my dad for doing what he did. I knew that he had come to California because he was forced to do this in order to afford a better living for us. He was forced to do this because the economy in Mexico was very bad, especially for uneducated people. I can understand that having a good education in Mexico is also hard for many people. I think that my dad s opportunity was taken away from my grandfather, but I also think that the government was not strict enough to make sure every child has the right for education, but I am proud of my dad for having the ability to learn on his own and motivate himself to do better in life. I feel that he did a good job raising me and my siblings. To conclude, because my father is a hardworking man since he was very young, he has influenced my life so that I can take every opportunity in order to improve my education and my personal life. He has shown me that I have to be dedicated in order to accomplish my goals in life. Also, because he was not able to continue his education, this has made me continue to my college education in order to have better opportunities and also to make him proud. My dad went through very rough times, from being raised by an abusive and alcoholic parent to moving on his own at an early age. He never followed the bad example my grandfather taught him, but he still respected him for being his father. My dad is a good example in my life because he has shown me that things can be possible and that it is important to try new things in order to accomplish our goals in life. He has also taught me that family is important in life. To this day, my dad visits my grandfather in Mexico, but they try to forget about the past. My grandfather does not drink

5 anymore so that has made my dad approach him differently. I think that my dad s story can be inspiring to anyone who takes their time to read it and can be influential in any way. Even though I feel proud of my Mexican heritage and my culture, I also feel proud to be an American because it has given my dad and my family opportunities that were hard to obtain in Mexico. I think that I am more thankful now that I have learned my dad s decision to come to America.

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