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Unsung Hero: A Heartfelt Letter to My Father

Joined: 1/29/2015
Posts: 1

I was only a fidgety little two-year-old when you came home one day and whisked Mom and I off into the unknown. We were going to America, you said. The Land of the Free. The Land of the Brave.

I remember only bits and pieces after that. You brought us home, where you had been living for more than fifteen years. You took us out to places we’d never been. We went to admire the majestic Niagara Falls, but I fell sick suddenly and we were forced to cut the trip short. We went to Chicago, witnessed the hustle and bustle of a city that never sleeps, and decided that we were just fine in that small town of ours. You introduced me to your friends’ daughters while I clung to Mom’s leg and peeked out shyly; who knew they would come to be my best friends today?

You gave me a fulfilling childhood, full of scraped knees and outdoorsy adventures. But I was a carefree child then; I didn’t stop to question how we got here or what sacrifices you had to make for us. I’m only now beginning to understand how the world works, how tough it must have been for you to get to where you are today, and how selfless it was of you to not utter a word about your hardships.

Because even though you didn’t mention anything concerning your immigration here, Mom eventually did. She tells me stories of your travels, how you navigated halfway across the world to create a new life here in the United States. You said goodbye to so many things all at once: your family, your friends, your hometown, and the lavish lifestyle you had enjoyed in your home country. You said nothing of how out-of-place you must have felt as you arrived here, nothing of how difficult it must been for you to conform to a vastly different language and unfamiliar social customs. You didn’t tell me of how you wrote letters once a month to your family back home as a means of correspondence because simply picking up the phone and dialing a number was not an option. And while you have told me that you will financially help me along in my pursuit of education, you mention nothing of how hard it must have been for you as you juggled both a Master’s degree and a job so that you could make your family proud and pave the way for a better future for us.

You say nothing of all these trials you have encountered, but now I can see them in the lines of your face. They remind me that a hero does not have to be someone who gets recognized for all that he does; a hero can be someone who keeps his efforts to himself and goes on with his life with the kindest of hearts and the most unselfish of wills. Just like you.

Thank you for everything. I love you.
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Unsung Hero essay being selected as one of our top 10 teen essays for our January writing contest.

To view all the results of our January 2015 contest, please check our winners page on or after February 28th:

Our editors are voting on the winners and we will have our results completed by Thursday.

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment with the world.

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Monday, February 16, 2015 2:43:33 PM
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
Our results are in and we would like to congratulate you for your essay being selected as our first place teen essay for our January 2015 Unsung Hero contest. GREAT JOB!

We will be contacting you via your registration email for details about your prizes.

Please feel free to share your accomplishment with the world!

- Rebecca Thiegs
Stageoflife Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 6:38:35 PM
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Comment by Movingsolutions

Joined: 11/25/2016
Posts: 1
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Posted: Friday, November 25, 2016 6:04:29 AM
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