My mother is close to a saint as is everyone else’s mom for the most part. In growing up I cant say my life was easy or that all the choices she made were great but I also know being a parent is no walk in the park and being a jibarita from Puerto Rico with no education must’ve been harder.
Mommy was the 1st one in her family to come to New York. Well more like run away to New York. In writing this I now have a much better understanding as to her reasons. In my youth I never gave it a second thought. She raised me and my siblings on what is now called child abuse. Yes I agree some of those beatings were brutal but as a man I give her thanks. It instilled in me a certain level of respect that youth has no knowledge of now. I give her all the credit for the crazy work ethics I have now. Mommy came with no education or a trade. She would tell me stories of how she would go to sweatshops and get on a sewing machine knowing full well she didn’t know what the hell she was doing. After so many times they sent her to hell a man gave her a chance and mommy became one of the best workers there. A decade later she ended up buying her own machines and working from home. She eventually employed her own workers and made money to support a whole entire family on her own. Not bad for an uneducated jibara del campo of Puerto Rico. She wasn’t the super loving type but there was always a hot plate of food, a roof over our heads and clothes on our back.
I know now that she gave the best of herself with what she knew. I commend her. When I became an addict she never once gave up on me. She always stood up for her children. She survived the death of her 2 daughters in her lifetime and raising up her oldest daughters son in her late 30’s. She never wanted to return to her homeland. She’d say -Ni muerta llego yo a Puerto Rico. That’s when I knew that her life was more tragic than she let on. It would be 10 yrs later that I would ask about her childhood.