When people ask how we found ourselves in Australia, the story always sounds too good to be true.
My parents had met and befriended an Australian diplomat while he was on a posting in Jakarta.
In our plans to move to the States, Dad was in the process of submitting our Green Card application.
But our Australian friend had a much better idea – what about migrating to Canberra, Australia instead?
Offering his help to find employment for my parents upon arrival, it was a no brainer. And there it was – off we trotted to Australia, the land of plenty and opportunity.
When so many other migrants and refugees hold life risking stories and unfathomable hardship in their journey to Australia, we were extremely lucky. No, randomly blessed.
Our Australian friend set a home for us. As he promised, he found jobs for my parents. He took it on as his responsibility to enroll my brothers and I to reputable public schools.
He taught me English. He helped me figure out how to use a knife and fork.
Stuff that most Australian kids take for granted but as migrants, my parents were still trying to figure out how to fit in, they themselves had no clue about the intricacies of Western etiquette and culture.
This year, my family and I just celebrate our 40 year anniversary of moving to Australia. On a rare family gathering a couple of months ago, we sat around the kitchen table, reflecting on those early days, comparing them to where we are today – happy, successful, safe.
As it works out, this year is also one of commiseration. Our dear family friend, who selflessly provided so much for us, passed away last Friday morning.
My family will be reunited again today for his funeral.
I’ve been asked to speak on behalf of my parents, my brothers and our respective families. I’ve prepared a speech and I hope my words properly convey our gratitude. I hope I adequately express how indebted we all feel.
Our lives could’ve been so very different, if it wasn’t for him.
Ever felt randomly blessed? Who or what have you been indebted to?
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