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1944 to 1960 - Mom…
I cannot tell you enough about mom. She was an achiever, ambitious, beautiful, compassionate for others, devoted, disciplined, educated, generous, hard worker, intelligent, strong willed, and young. She, too, was a pillar in the community. She was highly respected. She was also a rock and an anchor to many. I do now, more than ever, appreciate all the sacrifices she made to give us a better life because she felt bad for the choices she made earlier in her life.She, like her grandmother, married at sixteen. Mama Toya married when she was 28 and divorced four years later. It was not unusual for Mexican women to marry that young, especially during those times. But it was unusual to get divorced. Women, traditionally, stayed married regardless of their situation.My dad was five years older when they married. He was handsome, very loving, and real easy going, which is what, attracted mom. But later she realized that he was not ambitious; he was a bank clerk and was stuck in his job without the hope of promotion. Consequently, he was unhappy, and in addition, he liked to drink – a lot.Mom got impatient and left him four years later. That’s when Mama Toya came to live with us in Mexico City in 1949. And that is the earliest memories I have of her. I know in my heart, that this had to be the hardest decision mom ever made at the early age of twenty two, and with two children and a mother in tow. Wow!I admired, adored, honored, and respected her… I also feared her. There was a piece of her character and behavior that, to this day, I still don’t understand. I know what made her click. She wanted to be on top of the world and worked extremely hard to get there. And she wanted to provide the best life for us that she could buy. Those were daunting tasks for such a young woman, but she worked relentlessly to achieve her goals.I looked mostly like my dad. I always felt by our relationship, that my brother was favored over me. She was honest. She would not have pretended to say or do what she did not feel or mean. She didn’t express the same affection for me that for my brother.Today, I can truly accept that. I honestly believe that when we have more than one child, we are all more attuned with one or another according to their needs. It reminds me of a story about a man who had three children. It goes something like this: He was once asked which one of his children he loved the most. He paused and then responded: “I love the baby until he grows. I love the sick one until he heals. And I love the one who is absent until he returns.” What wisdom!12/20/2008
how lucky you are to have had such a wonderful mother AND grandmother! I just love reading about Mama Toya.