Karen's Blog

Let's take a walk through a brand new day.

I Can’t Even Imagine…

This weekend, I had the pleasure of spending the day with my Aunt, Uncle, and a whole slew of cousins as one of the 2nd cousins prepared for her senior prom.  We were all there watching as her hair was being swept into an “updo” and as the makeup artist applied the prom makeup.  We then took hundreds of pictures, fluffed her magical dress into perfection, took more pictures, oohed and aahed over her gorgeous bouquet of flowers, took more pictures, and then gave her lots of hugs and kisses as we sent her off into the night to enjoy her senior prom.  It was a true family affair!

I felt blessed to take part in the celebration but was reminded of a less fortunate family whom I had recently met.

My husband and I were having dinner at a restaurant and as usual struck up a conversation with our server. She was very polite and “gentle”. Everything brought to the table was placed carefully, precisely, and gently on the table as though it were a baby being brought to a mother. My husband and I commented to one another on the superb service at this low-end casual dining restaurant and wondered about our servers’ culture.

Since most of the restaurant patrons had departed, we engaged her in conversation.  She was a beautiful woman from Uzbekistan and was here in the USA with her husband on a work visa. (She was delighted when I knew where Uzbekistan is located!) As we continued to talk, she shared more about her country. We learned that the government holds tight controls over the population which ultimately keeps most citizens in poverty. She described Uzbekistan as a rich country with poor people. “White-gold” or cotton is the primary export from which the farmers get very little of the profit. When asked what she missed about her country, she smiled broadly and said, “The fresh food…everything here in America is so processed.” And then, with eyes lowered, she said, “But mostly…my family.”

She had to leave her four children behind in Uzbekistan when her husband decided that they should work in America for a year to earn and save money to provide for their family. The four children are being raised by the maternal grandparents in her absence. I asked to see pictures of her children and she gladly pulled out her phone to show me. Three girls and a boy. She was so proud of her children and glowed as she told me about each one. She only grew sad when she shared pictures of her daughter’s wedding.

She longed to be in Uzbekistan watching her beautiful first-born child as her hair was being swept into an “updo”, watching as the makeup artist worked her magic, fluffing the beautiful white dress, taking hundreds of pictures, oohing and aahing over the bouquet of flowers, giving hugs and kisses, and beaming as she watched her daughter walk down the aisle toward her new life.

Instead, she watched her first-born daughter’s wedding via FaceTime, while she waited to begin her shift as a waitress, at a low-end casual dining restaurant in America.

I cannot even imagine…

Needless to say, I am counting my blessings on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon, feeling thankful for family, and blessed to be an American.


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