Shelly’s radiant smile.

The stories of broken dreams that countless men and women have left behind in the old country to chase the American aspiration for a better life can be bottled up and sold a dime-a-dozen. The tragedy is how we tend to sweep up the many tales of our parents in their youth, their long-forgotten goals and ambitions replaced by perpetual struggle, and categorically file them under “The Immigrant Experience.”

Money was a perpetually an issue, but I had everything I wanted.

I knew two things: We didn’t have the money for a guitar. But I would still get what I wanted.

thriving in chaos is a double-edged sword.

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