Almost thirty – four years ago, on 19 February, 1980, we, Raj and Cynthia Gill, and our sons Darius and Raoul, flew into Chicago’s O’Hare Airport by British Airways – for some reason the plane was unable to connect with the covered ramp and we had to walk across the tarmac in a light snowfall. For Darius (then aged 14 years) and Raoul (then aged 11 years), seeing the snow was a case of love at first sight.
As we left the airport that winter day in Chicago, we were struck by the layout of the houses in the Windy City - no fences, hedges or other separation of homes – unlike the houses in India with walls as well as fences and hedges. There seemed to be an openness in this landscape. In the fresh optimism of our arrival, it seemed like the landscape was reaching out to welcome us to America, full of opportunities to follow our dreams.
Sadly, in January 1985, five years after our arrival, my husband died as a result of a car accident. On February 14th. 1998 my son, Raoul, married Mona, a lovely girl ethnically the same as us – Punjabis from North India. Later that year, on June 18th my eldest son, Darius, married a charming Irish American girl and, at the same time, gained two great children, Matthew and Jennifer.
Darius has since become a managing director of the mid-west region of a well-known Chicago bank and Raoul was recently promoted in his job with the State of Illinois. For 18 years, I worked as a banker and, in 1998, I changed stride and became a Medicaid Specialist for the next 15 years, retiring late last year.
We are proud to be Americans and to continue living the American Dream.