Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers
Battling invisible aliens, waging war against evil, saving all of mankind while running around in the back yard; we were known as the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. The friendship carried by the group of Power Rangers came into my life through the television set and moved beyond to the play world. It integrated every relationship I have had with my siblings, aunt, and uncle. The values put forth in this seemingly trivial program resonated through out my childhood and have stayed with me ever since. As the Power Rangers battled evil, my family also battled our own personal struggles. The villain was cancer and the battle was my uncle’s death.
Growing up was hard. My family struggled to adapt to American culture and had financial issues after emigrating from Vietnam. My parents went to work at the crack of dawn and came home sometimes past nine; I would be fortunate to see them at all. I was not a privileged child with brand new clothes, shoes, or toys. We valued something else, something intangible. We valued the idea of family, friendship, and community.
The idea of team work and friendship among the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers influenced my life at a young age. Each episode consisted of a variety of cheesy lines and ridiculous-looking villains, but the episodes also espoused the importance of friendship. The multicolored heroes were able to defeat anything in their path with the help of their friends. The significance of friendship and the notion of family carried on even after my obsession with Power Ranger waned; it inspired a new way of thinking.
The Power Rangers made it look easy to defeat monsters and villains, but for my uncle it was not so simple. My uncle was only 24, yet, his medical history included depression, Osteosarcoma, with his right leg amputated below the knee, and acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. He spent two years going in and out of the hospital battling the malicious spread of cancer. Finally, the doctors said they had done their best, and with that my uncle was instructed to go home to try to live comfortably. Days passed, weeks descended, and hope rekindled. Until one night, the continuance of the evil cancer struck again and finally my uncle was defeated.
After he had fought the seemingly endless symptoms of his illness, my uncle’s death devastated my family. Because of her grief, my mother went into a state of depression. Everything, even the simplest things, would remind her of her brother. Buying chocolate would then turn into a tsunami of tears inside of Wal-Mart; he loved chocolate.
Unlike any other Power Ranger play, this battle seems to never end. But the values embedded in each of the Power Ranger episodes taught me that I can not fight big battles with out the support of my family and friends. The monstrous evil cancer stripped my uncle away from us, but the idea of family and friendship held us together. While my mother struggled to adjust to her brother’s death, my family and I struggled to find ourselves without the full mental state of my mother. Though we could not destroy my mother’s depression like any regular villain, we stayed close together in order to conquer all of the family enemies.
After many years, even without the bright colored uniforms, my family and I are yet again the Power Rangers saving the world against evil. Each of us has our own duty. My time is spent tutoring, teaching, being a motherly figure for my younger brother and doing everything I can to help my mother and the family. After three years, we are still adjusting to my uncle’s death. I am now the role model to my brother that my uncle was to me. I am my mother’s support and my family’s friend.