I’m Thankful I Was Raised as the Child of Immigrants
With Thanksgiving only a few days away, we invited Judith Galles (the woman who found Lauku Tea and brought it to the U.S.) to share with us what she's most thankful for. During this uncertain time in our country, when the word “immigrant” has unjustifiably become a bad word instead of something to be thankful for or even admired, we find her story to be an inspiring reminder that we all come from some place else — and that's what makes us so great.
Life was not easy for my parents. They were born in Germany and were just becoming adults when World War II devastated their homes, their families, and their livelihoods. After the war they moved to Chicago, Illinois. As it was with most immigrants at that time, my parents spoke little English and had barely a dollar between them. They moved to America alone, without family or friends waiting for them in the Midwest.
Growing up, it was obvious my parents were different. Other Moms in our neighborhood didn't cut the ketchup bottle in half to scrape out every last drop before throwing it away. Other Moms didn't bake, can and cook everything we ate by hand. (Although when our school had bake sales, neighbors would call in advance to buy my Mom's baked goods sight unseen before they even got to the school.) Other Dads didn't speak with heavy accents or build every piece of furniture in their homes by hand. Other children didn't have to teach their parents about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
As a child, I used to wish my parents would just be like the other parents. Now as an adult, I see how lucky I was to be raised as the child of immigrants. I might have had to teach my parents about the public school system, but they taught me how to succeed in my studies by never being afraid to ask questions, and to always do the best I could with what I had. My parents missed their childhood home every day of their lives, but they never stopped being intentional with their gratitude and appreciation. They were able to build a life for us by always trying to learn more and always saying thank you.
On Thanksgiving Day in America, we make an extra effort to be grateful for what we have. I’m so lucky to have had parents who modeled a deep sentiment of gratitude to my sister and I every single day. This Thanksgiving, and every day of the year, I’m thankful for the people who taught me to appreciate everything I have — my parents.
Thank you, Christel and Erich. I love you.
We wish you and your family a happy and loving Thanksgiving. We're so thankful for each and every of you.
Hugs and bućas!