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Unconditional

A parent's love is hard to explain

By Mohammed DarasiPublished 2 months ago 5 min read
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Unconditional
Photo by Mike Scheid on Unsplash

I'm generally not one to express emotions, and I can't say I understand what love is (I doubt anyone can). I believe love is an umbrella term that covers so many things. One description of love may resonate with someone but not with another.

The love I would like to explain with this little story is parental love.

When I was around twelve, my parents told me and my siblings we were leaving to live in a different country. We didn’t understand the reasoning behind that decision because we were all young (even my older sister was only around 14).

All I could think about was how I would be leaving all my friends behind. I couldn’t fathom living somewhere different. A country in Europe that spoke a language I didn’t. It took some time for things to sink in. Close to our leaving, my parents were giving away many things in the house (either selling them or just giving them away).

The finality of the decision was slowly seeping deeper. As we were packing, just weeks from the departure date, my parents told me to choose which of my books to take. I wouldn’t have called myself a reader, but I did have some joke books, and I also read all the Harry Potter books (in Arabic) that were out at that time and loved them. Now, I had to choose which one I wanted to take. I decided to take Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which I still have with me to this day.

While I regret not taking the other books with me, I think I chose well because I ended up buying the Harry Potter books in English in the UK, which helped me learn the language. You can read more about this story below:

Now we were in a foreign country. We did have relatives living here, which helped, but the immigration process was brutal. We had to go to the Home Office to go through the whole process of completing paperwork and getting fingerprinted and pictured. Of course, being so young at the time and my mother not speaking English, my father was the one who dealt with all of this. We sat in the waiting room for hours, bored out of our minds.

When the process finally finished, I remember my father walking over with a slightly worried face and saying “They’re sending us so far north.”

A misconception I had, as someone outside of the UK, was that the UK is simply England. I knew of Scotland but never thought it was part of the UK, so I was surprised when hearing we were going to Scotland (Glasgow).

The journey there was quite interesting. I was used to seeing deserts when we travelled from city to city, but in the UK, all I saw was green. There was not a spec of sand in view which amazed me. I always thought anything outside of the city limits was dead, but it was different here.

After arriving in Glasgow, we got taken to the building where we lived for a few years. This building was a temporary housing for immigrants and housed many other families. My siblings and I eventually made many friends.

Life was a bit harder because, as asylum seekers, we (my dad mainly) were not allowed to work until we got a 'leave to remain' decision from the Home Office, which would give us the right to work. We only got that decision four years later.

I am not a parent, but I assume that providing for a family of 7 is not easy, especially under such circumstances. The thing is, we never really felt that. We were not living a luxurious lifestyle, but my siblings and I never wanted for anything. We had all the necessities and could do whatever we wanted, within reason.

Growing up, I never understood how big of a decision moving to a different country was. While a significant change for us kids, it was natural that we would adapt quickly. Kids are very resilient.

For adults who built a life and settled somewhere, packing up and moving must have been very disorienting. They left all their friends and family and started from scratch in a different country.

We all make decisions every day, but I do not recall ever having to make a decision of this magnitude. Despite my siblings and I being born there, we were not considered native to the country we were living in because it is always about where the parents are from. I did not think it was a problem for us, but after becoming an adult, I realised that life there was difficult for those who were not native. Work and study opportunities were becoming more difficult to find over time, so my parents decided to move. They wanted us to have opportunities that would not be available if we had stayed. They chose to move for us despite the difficulties it would bring them. My father had a good job and we lived a good life, but our future was not certain.

I can't pretend to understand parental love, but I can see the sacrifices they've made for us. They chose to secure our futures over the more comfortable life we had at that moment. They struggled with lawyers and the immigration process while we didn't even realise they were doing it.

We were going to school and playing with friends while oblivious to the struggles behind the scenes. I only realised how much they shielded us from later in life.

Most of what I wrote above was to show you just how much of a minor inconvenience the relocation was for me now that I look back at it. It felt like a gigantic change at first, but now I only reminisce and this is only because of my parents.

Of course, I can't rank different forms of love, but are there many that top this type of unconditional love?

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About the Creator

Mohammed Darasi

I write fiction, poetry and occasional articles about interesting topics. I recently created a website (just because) which I will be posting my writing in (among other things). it would be great if you check it out. https://mindpit.co.uk/

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  • Hannah Moore2 months ago

    It just sounds like your parents dealt with this so incredibly well!

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