I couldn’t believe that I finally had my own room. When my family and I first moved to our first house I was ecstatic. “Can we finally get a dog mommy” I asked my mom as we walked through the open house. “Yes Rossi you can finally get a puppy”. As we started exploring our house I went to all the rooms and finally picked my area. The decorating ideas were scarred all over my mind. What color would I paint the walls? I ultimately picked yellow. I picked yellow because it was a color that represented my childhood. It was a happy and untroubled time for me and my family. I was delighted to go to a school that I was happy in. My mother finally obtained a job that she was happy in and she was able to afford a car that didn’t turn off every hour. I loved being in a home where my family was happy and where I knew no one would kick us out. That is until 2008 when the economy tanked and we were left with nothing.
My mothers first name is Milagro. People who speak Spanish know that Milagro translates to miracle in English. When I was a little girl I often thought to myself how incredibly blessed I was to have been raised by a mother who worked so hard and instilled morals and values to me and my 2 sisters. Being raised without a father was never easy but I never gave it much thought until there was a lack of money or when there was a father daughter dance at my middle school. My mother provided everything I needed, and I would often think how she could do it all. She was paying for a car, a beautiful house, bills, and managing to cook meals every night for dinner. My mother was a secretary at a home renovation shop and she was also working towards her teacher education degree. Her real passion is teaching kids and providing a positive outlook on education to kids.
Every morning when my mom would drop me off to school she would tell me how important it is to have an education. She would ask me “Rossi what are you planning on doing after high school?” and I would reply “Ma I just started my senior year in high school, I don’t know what I want to do”. ‘Well Rossi start thinking about what career you want and what colleges you’re going to apply to because life is only getting harder and I don’t want you to go through the things that i’m going through. Little did I know what she was going through at that time. I wondered what she had meant by “life is only getting harder” life for me was just beginning.
November 2012 was the time everything changed for us. I arrived to a quiet house. What was once a happy, joyful home was now a melancholy place. I saw my mom quietly talking to my sister in the living room while my grandmother was in the kitchen quietly sobbing. When my mother saw me she nonchalantly told me to have a seat. With tears in her eyes she told me that our home was going into foreclosure and the home improvement company she was working for was losing money, therefore they were laying her off of work. I was confused because I had no idea we were on our way to losing our home and my mom being unemployed.”What do we do now”? I asked my mom. “I think we are going to have to move to New York where we are going to have to stay with your Aunt until we get back on our feet”.
I was devastated! I was going to leave the life I had lived all my life. It was so unexpected and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t want to leave all the friends I had made. While I was thinking of all these things, I thought how selfish I was thinking. Here I was looking at my mom and grandmother crying over us being homeless and I was crying over how many friends I was going to lose. I gathered all the courage and positivity I had and looked at my mom straight in the eyes and told her “Lets do this ma, when should I start packing?
“Ladies and Gentleman Welcome to New York City please remain seated while we prepare for landing.” .I looked out the plane window and saw JFK airport. Our aunt was waiting for us at the end of the Delta terminal. We were entering a new journey. A couple of weeks had passed and I found myself in college pursuing a degree in nursing. My new found passion. I promised myself I wouldn’t be in the same situation my family and I had been in. The reason I went for Nursing was because I wanted to be able to provide comfort and health to those who feel lost and discomforted. My mother finally obtained her education degree and she found a new sense of pride and happiness. I felt so proud of her. What once was a broken depressed mother was now a hard working women. We got an apartment and we did not give much thought about how we were kicked out, our not being able to pay for food or bills.
I was very much on my way to becoming the women that I envisioned on that sunny November morning. I never knew that a misfortune like the one we had, could inspire and build us up. I reminded my mother about the misfortunes we had endured during Thanksgiving at our dinner table. She teared up and said “Baby if you ever find yourself in that same predicament, I want you to gather all your strength and take all the baby steps you need to get to where you need to be. Take a giant leap of faith or take baby steps, whatever you need. But for now, let us be thankful and say grace.”.