Never Give Up (Mexico)


Estoy orgulloso de lo que soy y de lo que me he convertido. Estoy orgulloso de mi esposo y mis 4 hijos. I am proud of who I am and what I’ve become. I am proud of my Husband and my 4 children that I deeply love.

I was born in Michoacan, Mexico on July 31, 1988. I was the only child so I had things to my self because when I was a kid, I didn’t like sharing. Years later my parents told me that I’m going to have a younger sibling and I was surprised because I never imagined the thought of having a brother or sister, and again I didn’t like sharing.

Sunday evening, when the clouds were blue and the sun was high – my baby brother, Emmanuel was born. He was such a crybaby, like every night he would cry and when he did I had to go to the kitchen which wasn’t that far. I went to the kitchen with my banana pajamas trying to find where the milk was, so I looked to my left seeing the refrigerator, my right, where I had seen the “leftover milk”. One night I thought about having a sister and asked myself, “What do you think her name would be”. Apparently I said it too loud so my brother, knowing how to speak said, “Callate por favor, me quiero dormir Maria. Buenas noche”. Please shut up, I want to sleep Maria. Goodnight. Guess WHAT? Next thing you know, mi mama va tener otro bebe, y es un niña”. My mom is going to have a baby and it’s a girl.

My day was filled with joy, knowing that I’m going to have a sister. I smiled, I hopped, I skipped. All I could think about was when she was going to be born. After being born and now being three years old, her name was Elizabeth. I would usually play with my siblings and other cousins who would visit us sometimes.

My dad wanted us to move from Mexico for a job, but all of us didn’t know what job. My mother, Andrea said, “Eres menso o que”. Are you stupid or what? We all started to laugh, even my dad with a little grin on his face. I remember him saying how it may benefit us in the future, but I didn’t want to leave, I loved being in Mexico.

A year later, we decided to leave. First my Father had moved, then my Mother and Emmanuel leaving us with our uncles. I didn’t want to leave Mexico because I felt we had everything there. Family, friends, and a home. I couldn’t bear the fact that my family left, and me and my sister, Elizabeth were just waiting to be with them.

I had to go through the hot desert with not that many supplies and saw my sister struggling to hold all these heavy things, but I told her, “Elizabeth, vamanos hermana. Si se puede”. Elizabeth, lets go sister. We can do it. We had to hide. We had to run away from immigration so they wouldn’t take us back.

When we immigrated to America, we lived in the Bay Area because my dad’s job was near there. I never pictured America as the best place to live in or as a place of wonder and I never thought of myself as being an “American”.

The biggest obstacle for me was that since I only spoke Spanish, it was hard for me to have an education. When I graduated middle school and became a freshman at Carlmont, they said “Sorry we can’t help you because this school is only for people who knew how to speak English”. I dropped out. I felt like there was nothing in me that pushed myself to go on and keep trying.

At one point in my life someone said something racist towards me. When I had my first job, a month after I started working I heard a phone ring, which obviously I answered. When I tried to explain something in English, I couldn’t pronounce a word. I tried pronouncing many times, but every time I struggled. Eventually the guy said, “Go back to Mexico”.

My biggest successes is that I’m still going to school in order to have that education that I couldn’t have when I was younger and still studying my favorite subject, Math. Also, working at the local library which is great because I love working with children and we’re helping them to have a great education when they grow up.

My proudest moments were when Jaime and Fabian graduated from middle school and Adrian moved into 6th grade. Another thing that I want to say that I am proud of is Damian because he brings so much joy to the family, it’s wonderful, but when he starts to cry, it’s not that wonderful. Damian is 2 and he knows how to communicate towards others, he knows how to count from 1 to 15, he knows how to say the alphabet, and “speak” two languages.

My biggest life lesson was that you never want to give up on things that you want to accomplish.

This story was written by Fabien, the subject’s son.

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