Absolutely no one has had more of an influence on my life than my mother. She has been the strength of my family — a guiding light and embodies all that is true and good in the world. She has managed to survive and thrive as a refugee, not only once but twice. She was born in India, and she migrated to Pakistan with her family when she was 4 years old. They lost everything during that partition. In adulthood, she had to do it again with my father when she left Pakistan for the United States.
I'm constantly inspired by her ability not to wallow in self-pity. In fact, when I ask her about something from the past she'll say, "I don't really remember." My mother has selective memory: She only remembers the good times, and she leaves all the bad ones behind. She experienced plenty of moments of anger and grief in her life, but she didn't carry them for long.
When I look back at where my family and I started and where we are now, I can't help but stand in awe of the country that has afforded us so many opportunities.
Few people love this country more than I do.