Our father came before us to make sure it was safe. Our mother took care of us on her own for a while to make sure we were healthy, happy and ready for our journey. We traveled by car through the night. We slept in a motel until we could go to our new home. We knew no one, barely spoke the language and were behind in school.
Then the wind shifted. Our home was big, new and amazing. There were classes in our schools specifically for us to help us learn the language and catch up academically. Our family was back together and we could breathe as a whole again. The whole world was new to us, we were scared but excited. We knew we would be ok. People welcomed us with opened arms. There was a sense of community and belonging in a way.
This was decades ago. What if we had attempted this journey today? What would it be like? It would be harder to cross the border by car. We would probably have to take a bus. There would be no new house as it is almost impossible to qualify for one these days. We would have to rent and probably not in the neighborhood of my parents choosing. The schools would not have the funds to have special classes for us to learn the language, at least not all of them would. We may be forced to remain behind in our learning. It would be very hard to excel the way we did. People may not be so welcoming because of the darkness in the world. Would we ever feel like we belong?
We came from Mexico, so not that far away. We didn’t have to escape any evils or leave everything we loved to save our lives. Yet, it wasn’t too long ago that people were trying to keep families just like mine out of this country. Why? The reasons varied depending on who you asked but drugs, crime and the taking of jobs (no one else wants) seemed to top the list. Because six little girls looking for a home would fit into all of those categories, I’m sure. Now the wind has shifted again in a direction that is only proven to be worse. The same people that feared my people (and probably still do, but have a new focus for now) are casting their negativity on another group of people looking for a home: refugees.
Families just like mine but that have gone through unimaginable and life altering losses and devastation are not being welcomed with open arms. The fear of what is happening over there somehow sneaking in over here in disguise is a real fear, of course. Yet, do the people trying to stop the refugees realize that THAT is a fear created by the enemy and not the victims? These families are looking for safety, that’s all. Safety until the wars end, safety until their families are back together. Safety until they can breathe as a whole again. Look at any (reliable) media coverage and see the fear and sadness in so many little children and tell me they don’t deserve to know they too will be ok. That they are welcome. That they will breathe again. We can do better.
Want to see the sadness in their eyes? Click Here
As I watch these events unfold, I realize how lucky we really are. For all of the wonderful things that I have been able to see, do and witness I give thanks. To having loving families (the one I was born into, the one I married into and the one my love and I created) I give thanks. To my little loves for making me a better me and happier than I thought possible, I give thanks.To all of the people that have helped my family succeed throughout the years even at our lowest points, I give thanks. To all those that fight to protect us, I give thanks. To having the opportunity to share my life in my own words, I give thanks. To all of you, I give thanks.
Be truly thankful for all you have!