My parents, immigrants from the "Old Country". My Dad, Portuguese and from the Azores Islands and my Mom, an Italian born and raised in Brazil. On my Dad's journey to America in the late 1950's, he stopped over in Brazil to stay with his older brother who had moved and made a life for himself there.
Dad held jobs in Brazil, sometimes two at a time, to save up enough money to complete the remainder of his journey to America, the land of opportunity. His time in Brazil totaled about four years, maybe a little longer than he had originally anticipated because you see, this is where he met the love of his life, my Mom.
My Mom fell in love with her milk man, my Dad.
Soon enough, it was time for my Dad to take the long flight to America, find a job, make a life for himself and send for my Mom, who bravely made the journey out months later, leaving her family of 12 siblings, her Mom and Dad and the only life she knew in the small village of Brazil she called home.
My two sisters and I, growing up in the small country town of Penngrove, never played sports, had dance class, gymnastics class, girl scout meetings, 4H meetings or really anything extracurricular in our lives. It was all my parents could do to learn to speak the language, learn to drive, make ends meet, buy a house and raise three strong-willed little girls.
And that's okay.
Because I am thankful to have grown up in the land of opportunity......it could have been a much different life for my sisters and I.