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It's a February evening of 1988. A lady in her late 30s is walking out the door, hearing the agonizing cries of her 9-year-old son pleading her to stay. He was in bed after having been mildly sick. Now he was wishing he was SERIOUSLY sick so that he would have a better chance at convincing his mother to stay. He did not see beyond his needs. He could not comprehend that his being sick would only make it harder for his mother to abide by the right decision. After all, she had no choice. She needed to leave, and it had to be done that night.
In anguish, the mother of five children headed north to Los Angeles, a city she had only heard of in stories told by people who had dared to venture to new land. She thought Los Angeles would provide her the opportunity to re-create her life, away from the financial struggles she had already endured. She was aware it was also the city that many had attempted to reach, and never did.
Nevertheless, nothing was to interpose in this mother's plans; not a son pretending to be sick, nor the risk of failure. With such determination, the mother succeeded in reaching Los Angeles, where she was joined by her husband a couple of months later.
Less than a year passed. The five children were at their hometown's bus stop, waiting to be taken to Acapulco, where they'd meet their father. This was supposed to be a trip like all others: leaving to return within days. Regardless, the tears were there, in the eyes of the five children and those who went to bid them farewell.
Once in Acapulco, the five kids met their father and were handed the toys that had been bought for them. As is to be expected of kids, they rejoiced in happiness... a happiness that was interrupted by the father asking, "who would like to come live with us?"
It was now three children and their father, riding a bus through Mexico, heading north to their new home. The three kids were trying to ignore the punishment their conscience imposed for having deserted the old woman who had looked after them when their own mother couldn't. They'd often shed a tear, picturing her being told that her three oldest grandkids were on their way out of the country. They had vanished out of her life.
The father and children reached Tijuana. A taxi took them to an address that an "aunt" had provided for them. They knocked on the door and asked its owner to allow them to stay in his home for a few days. He accepted.
Every night, for several nights, the three kids and their father would go to a bridge and see how things were going. They'd see lots of people who were there with the same motive as theirs. Often times, the kids could hear their own teeth chattering. The kids claimed it was because they were cold. In reality, the chattering of their teeth was more a result of their anxiety for what was to come, than a reaction to the unfamiliar weather they were experiencing. They wondered if they were going to make it through this ordeal... sneaking into America.
Many nights passed, all considered the wrong time to cross the border. After such nights, they'd head home and end the day by calling the mother and explaining their failure to cross that night. The explanation of how the night went would be followed by the father's plead to his wife, "Lets stay in Mexico. We can get an apartment here in Tijuana and avoid risking the kids' lives." The mother's response was always the same, "No, get them here..."
One night, father and kids walked into American soil led by a coyote (a person who smuggles people across a border). They spotted some immigration officers so they hid. They witnessed how the officers arrested a group of people who had been walking only feet ahead of them. They thought the officers would load that group and then come looking for the two men and three kids hiding behind the bushes. If caught, they would all be taken into different immigration facilities. Once given their freedom, the kids would be on their own in a city more than half-a-country away from their hometown. Fortunately, the officers loaded the group, got in their cars and never looked back. This was the night father and kids had been waiting for, indeed.
The morning after that particular night, the children woke up in a different home. They were now in San Diego, California, awaiting another appropriate night to continue their trip.
That night came a week later. They got in a car and soon fell asleep. At around 1 o'clock in the morning, they were awakened by their dad's voice. They got off the car and walked toward a blue house. They knocked on the door and the lights came on. A lady looked through the window and smiled. She opened the door and embraced the kids. It was the same lady who was forced by fate to ignore the cries of her kids as she walked out of her home in Mexico... their mother.
Today, there's an old lady living in complete solitude in a small town in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. Her heart was shattered by fate. Once surrounded by her daughter and five grandkids, today her only company is the memories she has of them...