I Am Here For Good

Reblogger Marte Cliff
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Jon's celebration of his 21 years in America should be a reminder to all of us who take our lives here for granted. It should especially be a wake-up call to those who don't appreciate America - who scorn her and try to bring her down.Too bad those people will never read it or think about it.

Those who have lived a different life KNOW that what we take for granted is precious.

I'm glad Jon made it - Active Rain just wouldn't be the same without him!

Original content by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL

What was July 31, 1991 in History?

- Russia & US sign long range nuclear weapons reduction pact
- Senate votes to allow women to fly combat aircraft
- The Medininkai Massacre in Lithuania. Soviet OMON attacks Lithuanian customs post in Medininkai, killing 7 officers and severely wounding one other.

It was also a very important day for our family. It marked the end of over 2 years of waiting for the day, when we passed the last Border Patrol officer and boarded the plane to America. It was shortly after midnight, we were very tired of days, weeks and months of waiting, believing this day would come, and losing faith…and then hoping again…

The level of anxiety was hardly bearable. What if they take us off the plane, what if they stop the plane? And when the plane went airborne, it was a huge sigh of relief… It was over. We left the Soviet Union. We left it for good.

The Soviet Union did not live long. 2 weeks later it fell apart, and Gorbachev's era ended with little fanfares. But it is not about Gorbachev...

We, a family of four, myself, my wife Olga, then 19-year old son Vadim, who actually turned 19 on July 30th, but we did not have time to celebrate it, and my daughter Inna, who was a few months shy of her 18.

I am here for goodIt was PanAm, Boeing 747. Passengers were still allowed to smoke on the plane, but it all did not matter…

We landed in JFK early, but we were going through customs, through immigration, and it took hours and hours, and then we were waiting for a bus to take a group of new immigrants to a place that we had no idea about.

This was our first day in America. While sitting and waiting, I was trying to imagine our lives in the new country, trying to imagine where we will be in 2 years, 3 years, 5 years… We had $400 in our pocket, and $3,900 in debt to the charity that bought us 4 one-way tickets…

The bus came, and it was the first time we walked outside into the summer heat. Put our small suitcases, and the bus rushed us into the darkening New York skyline, taking us to our new lives, new beginnings, new mistakes, new discoveries…

Through pain, through tears, though falling and getting back on our feet… It was 21 years ago today.

This was the beginning of my best years in my adult life...

Thank you, America!

I owe you

Photo by Dave Hosford via Flickr.com


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Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Marte, thanks for the reblog. I wouldn't have missed Jon's celebration of 21 years in America. How awesome.

Jul 31, 2012 03:50 PM #1
CA COASTAL ESTATES Lauren Selinsky Perez CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren

God Bless America and what an amazing story!  I tear up for Olympic games (especially Gymnastics! GO KYLA ROSS!!) and makes me proud to be an American and our freedom. There are many that DO take it for granite! ;/

Jul 31, 2012 03:52 PM #2
Anja Kerstens
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Morgan Hill, CA
GRI, CDPE, CHS, ASP, Selling Silicon Valley Real

I certainly am glad that I became American just this past October. We too came without much more than a few dollars in our pockets and now 30 years later have built ourselves a very comfortable life. Remembering our humble beginnings makes us more appreciative of what we have today.

Thanks for the re-blog.

Jul 31, 2012 04:06 PM #3
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Pamela - Yes, it's good to help Jon celebrate his "Twenty-first birthday."

Lauren - Yes, or worse. I'll agree: God Bless America

Anja - People like you and Jon who weren't handed the privilege can show us all a thing or two about "making it" in spite of the odds - and about treasuring the opportunities we have. Congratulations on your citizenship!

Jul 31, 2012 04:35 PM #4
Michelle Cherie CarrCrowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Very cool story to share Marte, thanks so much.

Jul 31, 2012 04:51 PM #5
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks Michelle - I thought it was a cool story too. I've been following Jon for quite a while, and have learned some history as a result. It's far more interesting to hear from someone who has experienced things than to read about it in a dry text book.

Jul 31, 2012 06:01 PM #6
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