I am from Emmanuel and Corinna, Faustino and Ildefonsa, Abelardo and Warlita.
I am from the windy Chicago, from then moving to sunny California at two weeks old.
I am from rice, rice, and more rice.
I am from Baby Einstein VHS tapes, from Zoboomafoo, from A Land Before Time, and The Lion King.
I am from the small guava tree in our yard and the grass lawn I would help my dad mow.
I am from playing Barbies and computer games with my little sis.
I am from forced piano lessons that I am now grateful for.
I am from the heavy, deafening, frightening noise of my parents quarreling,
From not seeing my closest cousins for years at a time because of fights.
I am from playing with my Lola’s A.K.A my grandma’s shiny, bald head,
And choosing the prettiest wigs from catalogues when she had cancer.
I am from fun family gatherings, karaoke, and line dancing.
I am from learning that the man I have been calling “daddy” for fifteen years isn’t really my birth father,
And loving him just the same.
I am from a Christian home that is far from perfect, from recognizing Jesus Christ as my savior,
From seeing God’s presence in the sun that rises to the countless stars in the sky.
I am from dad reading bedtime stories and mom cuddling us to sleep.
I am from “Too much of everything is not good”, “A family that prays together stays together”, and “Life is what you make it.”
I am from these experiences and memories, which have molded me into the person I am today and the person I want to become.