By Hipolito Munoz, Publisher/Managing Editor
Soon after I was born my father left for the US as a bracero to make money to build his home, but he never really came back. He would visit and eventually started another family, then my mother moved back with her parents, and that was a rough move, very rough move. The drama of those years really stayed with me, as my constant concern was to make sure they liked me, then, my mother left. She needed to make money to buy herself a home that was a challenging time for her. My grandmother stepped in, but not necessarily as a mother, more as a caretaker. Eventually my mother came back, the story is pretty dramatic but not for today’s purposes. I lasted about two years, and then I left for the US to live with my father and his wife. I am still holding on to my story that it was to get a better education, but I have always felt that it was just my time. I had a feeling that I was not wanted, so I was going to go somewhere where I could find someone that would. That was not exactly what happened, and although I respect and honor my stepmother, there is no real love or affection there. That is another dramatic story.
My mother died about a year and a half ago, and I am still struggling with the feelings this has exposed. I am just confused, not sure how I should feel since I only lived with her for a bit of my early child hood.
Today, as I listened to several kids discussing their confusion about similar experiences, it’s hard to keep quiet. The constant struggle in my emotional and spiritual life is a question that drives many of my actions: if my mom and dad did not want me, then who will? As an adult, I am able to use such driving passion to try and do good things, rather than spectacular things. If I am able to do something for anyone, and it sows good will toward me, and my future children, then I do it. I am not ashamed that the driving force behind many of my actions can seem weak or shameful to some people, I have learned to embrace it. We are many times touched by those that don’t know our history, our challenges, our shames, and those that do good for us are the ones we must allow to mark us so that we can continue those good works.
I wish I would have been braver when I heard the despondency on a young adult discussing his plight with a friend, they were both despondent. This is why I write this, so that may be someone else whose Mama was not there, or others that should have protected and nurtured them were not there will learn what I learned early in life, I was there for me.