I was extremely tired at work today, like I wanted to fall asleep right at my desk. Of course, I'm getting pay to get my stuff done, so I couldn't just sleep. I decided to go out and sit in the sun for just a bit to wake myself up. There was another older man that exit the same time I left. As I sat down, I heard his car start. It was the type starting that the car works really hard for 5-10 seconds. Then he backed up and accelerated. The acceleration was bad too, I couldn't recall the sound. However, I recalled some of the hardest times of my family's transportation struggle. It's these memories and moments of hardship that push and remind me to work hard everyday.

This happened before my family moved to where we are now. My amazing supermom had already worked for a couple of years and my two older sisters finally picked up a job at the local Chinese restaurant buffet to help the family financially. (Oh gosh, these days were hard and sweet TT__TT). One of my vivid memory was this one winter when my father picked me up before picking them up from work. I don't even remember how this car looked like, but it was probably a boxy Toyota; maybe sky blue too. It was soo cold that night and I was probably just the age of nine going on ten.

All I remember was that we waited outside for them in the cold and it was so cold, but we couldn't keep the car on because that ate gas and what not. I didn't understand at that time why my dad couldn't keep the car on because other dads did for their kids. Not just that, I even had the the most small minded head to question my dad in my head, "Why would he not want to keep me warm?" Gosh that was so selfish and ungrateful of me to think that way. Anyway, my sisters got off work and got in the car. I don't even remember how much they were even paid, but the owners were really nice to them.

My sisters' excitement to work and help my mom when they were old enough to work inspired my own work ethics. I remember being young and hearing about the bills and thought to myself, "When I grow up, I'm going to solve all of mom's problems." Sadly, after many years and a bachelor degree, I am just a little closer to that dream. The dream is still alive.

Back to the story. They got in the car, and my dad started the car. The car made the same sound as the one I heard today during my mini chi moment. That sound were the days my parents struggled and saved every penny for us. For me to have this moment. For me to work at an office with a/c on a hot day. For me to not lift a muscle to keep my body healthy and live longer. For me to work short hours with a bigger paycheck. For me to have a better life than them. For everything I have at this moment. For that, nothing can ever repay them for the struggles they went for me (and still ongoing :D #kidfohlyfe).

My father was always the driver for the family. He'll pick us up after school, and being in a big Hmong family, that meant every building of the school district. He did this all the time. In addition, he even took our friends home sometimes. That's why I expect my siblings' friends to take care of them too and I be mad-doggin when they hatin. This makes me question my readiness for parenthood because I don't even want to go to the store some days for my own needs. Not just that, he busted his driving skills to pick up other family relatives too. If someone didn't have a car, they knew they could count on him to transport them.

Before I relocated this month, a young family needed someone to take them to the hospital for a baby's appointment. Even though they didn't live with my father, he still went across town to take them to the appointment. Although he makes funny decisions, and ones I don't agree with, he is still my father at the end of the day and he gave me everything he could. (He also enjoys doing passport photos and application on the side :D!)

It's just been such an emotional day/s lately, so I had to share this. Yes, it came from the heart, so I hope yours was touched :P. When you're feelind defeated, just remind yourself that "It's not a bad life. It's just a bad day." Thank you for reading like always.