Monday, April 18, 2016

NEVER FORGET YOUR ROOTS

never forget your roots - by Griselda

This is my story. I was born in Oaxaca, Mexico and when I was nine years old I entered the United States border illegally, the year was 1993. I don't remember every detail of the event but as I look back now I know I was not capable of really grasping the entirety of the situation.
My dad was already here legally had made plans for us to come across and join him. I remember it was night time and it was just me and my little sister who was seven. We rode with a couple that we didn't know and posed as their children. After making it safely across the border we met up with my dad.  Shortly after my mom crossed over in a different vehicle with another family and once she made it across safely she met up with us too. I imagine it must have been very stressful time for both my parents.

I recently watched a movie called "Spare Parts" starring George Lopez. I don't think the movie got a lot of exposure and I am not even sure how much money it made at the box office but it sure struck a cord with me. It's the story of four high school students who accomplished something amazing but also faced the danger of being deported at any time and sent back to Mexico. Three of the four were undocumented immigrants. I loved the movie and highly recommend it.

The movie brought back many memories for me but overall it made me realize how blessed I am to be here today. My family and I never faced being deported during the time that we were here illegally but that's not to say it wasn't any easier. My dad already had his green card and had started the process for us while we were in Mexico but the process can take years. My parents lived in fear of being deported those first few years after we arrived. We never took any road trips anywhere or went on any family vacations. There was just too much at risk.

My sister and I were born in Mexico while my two younger brothers were born in the states. We were a family of six with two adults and four kids all crammed into a studio. We made it work and every night was like a sleepover, we would lay out blankets on the floor and that would be our bed. Eventually we moved to a one bedroom apartment and then a two bedroom house that my parents now own. It never bothered me as a kid and looking back I am just in awe of my parents for making it all work.

Like I mentioned previously the documentation process is very slow but once we got our green cards the fear of deportation was lifted off. Then I had to wait five years before I could apply for citizenship and once I could I didn't waste any time. In 2007 I finally became a citizen. I was also the first person in my family to go to college. I guess I didn't realize how much of a big deal it really was because in my mind I was trying to do my best and make my parents proud.

My parents are hard working people and I have so much to thank them for. My childhood was filled with many happy memories and never did I go hungry or go without the essentials. As I sit here today I thank God for watching over us and keeping us out of harms way. I can only wonder what my life would have been like if I was still in Mexico. It wasn't until we all went on a family trip to Mexico that it really sunk in. I tried to picture myself growing up there and I just couldn't. I still have tons of family in Mexico and another trip back is long overdue.

Now that I am a mother I cannot wait to share my story with my two boys. I want them to know their heritage and be proud of it. I want them to know about their Mexican heritage. I also look forward to many family trips with them. I especially cannot wait for our first Disneyland trip as a family which I never had as a kid. It's all the experiences I never had as a kid, I want them to see it all. Hopefully one day I can take them back to Mexico too.

If you have made it all the way down here thank you for reading this. It's different from what I have shared here before but I am glad to have this platform. Let me know if you have a similar story. I'd to hear about it in the comments.

xoxo,
Griselda





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