Please welcome guest blogger,Kateri Lopez!
I am the product of a high school romance gone awry.At 19,my mom had to tell her mom she was prego,like Christine had to tell her parents.My father wanted no part of me.That's when my Lela (grandmother) quit her job."I never wanted you to suffer,so I made you my job," she once told me.
Mommy and Lela joined forces.Lela stayed up at night when I would cry uncontrollably and my mom would attend the Parent-Teacher conferences.We lived in a tiny 1-bedroom apartment in the Bronx.My 19-year-old mom's salary supported all three of us.I never felt the hardship I imagine they did.I was a happy child.Abandonment was not a concept that I was familiar with.Quite simply,I knew love and the power of family.
Fast-forward 25 years later and that 19-year-old single mom is married to an amazing man.When I had appendicitis he carried me in his arms from our itty-bitty apartment to the hospital.My mommy has given me two younger brothers,Erick and Andrew.She owns two homes,the beach house in Long Island and their primary residence,the "Disney mansion" in Orlando.She put me through four years of college,too (which is where I met Christine,back in '99).
I lost my Lela on February 9,2007.Family from New York,Miami,Texas,and even Honduras came to be by her side during her last days.It was a hard time for everyone,but it was my mommy's words that got me through it.With tears streaming down her face,she held Lela's hands and said in Spanish: "Mamita,my Queen!Thank you for these hands.I could never repay these hands.What did they not do for me?I thank them for raising my children.These hands have given me the world." In that moment,我意识到,因为莱拉,I had all the mother and father I needed.
Later on,I called my biological father (we've cultivated a civil relationship) to tell him the news."I am so sorry,I wish I could be there with you." Anger washed over me.People were coming from all over the place to pay their respects.How dare he not show tribute to the woman who picked up when he dropped off (of team baby)?I took a deep breath and these words just escaped me: "Yeah,I wish you could be here too,she did do your job."
Talk about tear-jerker,ay?Well,come on,show my brave guest blogger some love.