Gracias Por Todo: An Open Letter To My Parents
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Student Life

Gracias Por Todo: An Open Letter To My Parents

I love you. Te Quiero mucho.

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Gracias Por Todo: An Open Letter To My Parents
Alex Rogers

Growing up in a Mexican household, I was always told to focus on my studies so I didn’t have to worry about where money was going to come from in the future. So I focused on the things that would make my parents proud. Accomplishing things that would bring great respect to the Solis name. I graduated high school with a 3.2 GPA, three years on the soccer team, four years on the volleyball team, sang in Gospel club/Glee Club, volunteered at a soup kitchen, at the special Olympics, was part of campus ministry, environmental club, photography club, a member of the yearbook class, and a member of the National Honor Society. I had accomplished so much for someone who was only in his teens and in the fall I was attending college three hours away from home. All this time, I had never seen everything that my parents sacrificed for me. Early mornings to work and late nights to pick me up after practices or school events. I never took the time to ask how this may be affecting my parents, but all they really wanted from me was to be successful in all that I did. Looking back on all that my parents did make me really ashamed of the way I acted when they were late to a game late picking me up from practice. I was a spoiled brat who got everything that he wanted. My parents were probably exhausted from all the work that they did and the countless amounts of traveling they did to see me in whatever I was doing.

Flash forward to freshman year of college and volleyball became pretty expensive on top of the money my parents were already paying for me to go to school. I didn’t realize the struggles my parents were going through to still give me everything I wanted even though money was tight. When I told my parents that I wanted to get a job they responded with “The money part of school is our responsibility. You just worry about enjoying yourself and doing well in classes.” So that’s what I did. I ignored the fact that my family didn’t have the money for me to be spending like I was, but they somehow made it work. Every year was the same thing. “Where can we get the money to pay for insert problem here?” And without a flinch, my parents had the money. To this day I don’t know how my parents figured out the money situation. I do remember my mom talking about working a lot of overtime so I’m sure that’s how it happened, but just thinking about my mom working so many hours upsets me. Ever since I was little I wanted to be a famous musician so that my parents didn’t have to work anymore. So I could give back to my parents everything they have given me. The first step was getting a job so I could pay for things on my own so they could save money for themselves. So I applied for an RA position on campus and I eventually got it! I was working on campus to help my peers in becoming better versions of themselves while getting paid for it!

I’m a Mexican/American, but I cannot speak Spanish. Partly because my parents wanted to make sure I had a better opportunity in the world if I didn’t have a language barrier in the way. In a way it has helped me tremendously and in other ways it has hurt me, but I am not upset at my parents. If anything I’m madder at myself for not taking my studies seriously in high school. It was my responsibility to connect to my heritage and learn a language that my ancestors spoke. How were my parents supposed to know that Spanish would better help me in my journey when it only hindered theirs? My mom still tells me stories about how she was taunted in school for speaking Spanglish so I understand where he decision to only speak English to me comes into play. So I’m making up for lost time and reaching out to as many people I can to receive the information and knowledge of my elders. So to my parents, don’t feel bad about not teaching me Spanish. I’ll figure it out and strive like I always have.

I appreciate everything my parents have done for me from the support of my dreams to always pushing me to do great things. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have accomplished all that I have. So, thank you for everything, Gracias por todo, Mom and Dad. Because of you I know what I can accomplish and even more. I have been doing everything for you guys and I only hope to make you even more proud in the future. I love you. Te Quiero mucho.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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