We want to highlight the two stories shared by our FYSH members.
How do I feel being away from my family? I feel very lonely. I could say that I made many friends since I have been here, but even though, I’ve spent 4 years without big family celebrations. I miss my family much more than I can imagine. I miss my cousins, my aunts and uncles. I miss all of my family’s summer gatherings in beaches and resorts. Being away from them is like [uprooting] my identity from where I truly belong. My family is my home. A Filipino, like myself, is never an individual. I am defined not as a single person but defined [by] my family.
Today we have two uncles living with us. Just like my mom, they waited 4 years and had just arrived in America in 2010. One of them still is waiting for his wife to immigrate, and the separation has taken quite a toll on him. It is obvious to us that he is depressed and has resorted to drinking and smoking to alleviate it. As of now, his wife’s time of arrival is still unknown. For most immigrants the separation is synonymous with the process, but again, it does not have to be.