Mom’s Home

Friday, January 9, 2009. A day that I will never forget. 

[I was 15 years old, a freshman in high school at that time and we had recently moved to Anaheim.] Three months prior to this day, my mom had received a phone call from her hometown in Mexico. My uncle Cesario had passed away. He fell into a ditch in the middle of the night while trying to go home. It had rained heavily that day; he drowned. 

I had never seen my mom so sad and depressed. She cried every single day. I hated seeing my mom so sad, she no longer smiled when she got home from work in the evenings. She no longer walked into my room to ask how school went. But I understood. My mother had lost the brother who raised her two boys in Mexico when she decided to come to the U.S in hopes of a better life. It had been years since she last saw him.

A week after my uncle Cesario passed away. My mom was notified that my grandma who also lived in Mexico, had esophageal and stomach cancer. She was 81. She refused chemo. After my uncle Cesario’s passing, there was no one living with her that could take care of her during this time. After this call, both my mom and dad were more quiet, distant from each other and from me.

Then one day, in the first week of January, I came back from school and my mom sat down with me and said, “Claudia, my mom is really sick and there is no one with her to take care of her or keep her company. My mom and Cesario basically raised my kids when I decided to come here. I think it’s time for me to take care of her.” Her eyes watered and she looked away. I knew what that meant. My mom was going back to her hometown and it was not a round trip. She was still undocumented which meant she could not return to the U.S if she chose to leave. 

That same night, after I told my mom that I understood her decision (but was confused as hell) both of my parents walked into my room and my mom announced that after thinking things through she decided that it would be best if I went along with her. “For how long?” I asked. My mom said, “Let’s try for a year. I’ll enroll you in high school over there. If you like it, you can stay longer. If not, you can come back to your dad.” In retrospect, I didn’t agree to it because I thought it was a great idea or that it would work. I agreed to it because I knew what leaving a kid behind and in another country represented for my mom. She had already done that in the past. She left her two sons in another country to be raised by her family. I saw her cry on her son’s birthdays when she called them every year. She had unbearable pain that only she knew of. She carried that weight on her shoulders. Who was I to add on to that pain?

So, about a week later, on January 9th, 2009. I had officially dropped out of high school and my mom and I were in my uncle’s pickup truck on a two-hour ride to T.J. Soon enough, we were on a three-and-a-half-hour flight from Tijuana to Morelia, Michoacan. The capital of my mom’s home state. We got picked up by one of my cousins in a van and drove about three more hours to get to my mom’s ‘rancho.’ The sign in the entrance read Paramuen, my mom was finally home.

1 Comment

  1. I love this blog !!!

    Liked by 1 person

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