My mother gave up a big dream in order for her children to explore theirs in the land of opportunity. She was fortunate because children in Benin are either in fields working, or selling the goods in a big supermarket called Tokpa in Cotonou. After failing an exam, she was forced to seek an alternative interest to secure a good future. She loved cultural dresses and had pleasure learning to sew. With financial aid from her parents, she frequented an institution for seven years before receiving the diploma of clothing artisanship. Her love for that occupation grew as she bought her own shop and started training four apprentices. While in a relationship with my father, she was asked to reside in the United States. Days after landing in the United States, she looked for jobs based on her knowledge. Endeavoring her goal while not knowing English, she enrolled in night school. At her children’s arrival, she realized that her night school wouldn't benefit them. Her presence at night was valuable to their strength of succeeding in school. She then focused on taking care of the family by cooking, doing the laundry, cleaning the house, learning English by reading books and being our therapist. She recently said “This cotton gin reminds me of the seven years of hard work.” One part of her life that hasn’t changed is her diligence in using that old sewing machine. My mother closed a massive door from her life and because of that my little door keeps getting bigger.
– Wilfried A.