Letters from Juarez: “This might be my last letter. I’m not sure.”

21 Jul

This may or may not be the last we hear from Lupe. She’s relocating temporarily, and by the time that temporary move is up, she may be relocating back to Tucson. We shall wait and see. Until then: reliving the cycle, separating the family, everyone has a story, finishing grandpa’s beans, more, more–

July 9, 2009

The last month and a half has been both difficult and fun at the same time. It has been difficult because I am away from my husband and my kids. They are my entire life and being away from them has been the most difficult thing I have ever done.

In many ways, I’m in the situation that I never wanted to be in. When my brother and I were very little, my mom left us to go to the US to work to be able to support us. She left us with my grandparents, who were also caring for their youngest daughter and another grandson.

For awhile I was upset with my mom for making that choice. Now, being in my situation, I have learned that sometimes God puts us in situations that we might not like or understand. He always has a reason to do what he does. I now know how my mom must have felt when she left us. Although being here isn’t by choice, it still hurts.

Right now my kids are with my mom. She is caring for them like her parents cared for my brother and I many years ago. We are reliving the cycle. People say that we should not judge our parents because one day we might turn out to be like them. I’m not like my mom in many ways, but in others I am. I can no longer judge her for the choice she had to make. Not now. I know how heartbreaking it is to be away from those you love.

My time in Juarez has been difficult for our entire family. When I first called my son Andy, when I was told I had to stay in Mexico, he said something that really got to me. He said, “Mommy, why are you separating our family even more?” He lives in California and I don’t get to see him often, so the simple fact that he couldn’t spend time in Tucson with us this summer like previous summers, and me being even further away, made him feel that way. I know he didn’t mean anything mean by it, but his words stayed with me.

I’ve asked God that same question. “Why has he done this?” “Why is our family separate?” “What is the purpose?” I don’t ask these things in anger. I just want to understand. The answers still haven’t arrived but I’m sure he’s working on them. Or he might be showing me and I just haven’t been paying enough attention.

It breaks my heart to hear that my daughter is sad or having a bad day. That she’s asking when I’m coming home. I received some drawings that the kids made for me, and one of them was of me holding a suitcase, going home.

It also breaks my heart to hear that Tommy, my other son, is having a difficult time. That he’s crying or sad. No mom, no parent likes to hear that. So I ask again, “Why are you doing this to our family?” I can’t blame anyone. The situation is what it is.

Even though it has been hard, I know we are doing the best we can. We are in communication everyday. My family here has been very generous. My aunt and uncle have opened the doors of their home to me and made me feel comfortable. It’s been nice to get the chance to get to know my cousins and their families again.

I have a big family, and they all have a story to tell. My aunt in El Paso had to relocate her family from one day to the next because of threats they were getting. One of my cousins just left last week for a small town south of Juarez where he got a job after almost a year of looking, leaving his wife and daughter here. Another cousin’s husband lost his job a long time ago and now makes a living doing odd jobs. He built their house from the ground up with his own two hands.

My other aunt, whose husband is in jail (I still don’t know why) has her daughter, son and granddaughter living in her house, and she hasn’t been able to get a job since she got laid off months ago. I would have told you all their stories in depth, but they are not mine to tell. I didn’t feel like it was right.

My grandparents are wonderful. Whenever we go over to their house, it feels like I’m walking into my own home. There’s always a hug waiting and food smelling yummy. A few weeks ago, I spent the night at their house and it reminded me of when I lived with them. When I was little, I would sit next to my grandpa at meals. Whatever he didn’t finish eating, I would be happy to finish for him.

When I was there recently, we were having breakfast. He was eating eggs and beans. He didn’t finish his beans and without thinking about it, I took his plate and finished up. I looked up at him and he was staring at me like he remembered it, too.

That evening we had cereal for dinner, and I served it. That was also something I used to do as a child. It was my job to serve the cereal for him. Not exactly a job, just something I liked to do because I would steal Frosted Flakes from him. It’s those little moments that I will treasure about being here.

This weekend I’m heading to my grandparents house to stay. Marco will join me there next week when he arrives. I’m heading over there early because my grandma got really sick last week. She had to be taken to the hospital to get an IV connected. I’ve never seen her so bad in my life. It was scary.

She’s okay now, still on bed rest. Her diabetes was acting up and she has some problems with her heart. One of her doctors took away a medicine that was causing her body to react, so she is stuck in bed now and can’t be given any news that will make her stress out.

She needs 24-hour care. My aunts and uncles are organizing themselves to care for her during the day, but I will be going to care for them while I’m here. Right now, one of my aunts is with her, but she’s leaving Saturday to go back to her home in Parral. I’m going to go take over. Maybe that is the reason God has me here. Who knows?

This might be my last letter. I’m not sure. I’m going to stay at my grandparents’ house from this weekend until my waiver appointment. They don’t have an Internet connection, so I won’t be able to sign on and send my letters.

Once again, thank you to everyone for the prayers, help and support. Especially thank you to my husband who has been the one who has been holding everything together. If it weren’t for him, I think we would have gone nuts. Thanks, honey, for all that you have done.

God bless, and I hope to see you all soon,

Lupe

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