Many of us spent all the money we had saved to sail to America to start a new life with new opportunities. Others had hopes to settle, make a fortune, and then later return to the island; meanwhile, they worked in New York to send money back to their families in Puerto Rico.
When you are five years old, what is money? My mother and I arrived in winter, and I thought, This is crazy. What have we done? But my twenty-two-year-old pretty, full-lipped, full-hipped mother had enough of Juncos, Puerto Rico, her unfaithful husband, and her old life, which did not look like paradise to her. My mami, Rosa Maria Marcano Alverio, was looking for a new start, a new husband.
She was seeking love and fortune, and she would walk toward it on her homemade sandals and in her hand-sewn dress, carrying her one suitcase and the rest in shopping bags. When you have almost nothing, you can travel light. But she did not want to live with Paco, my father, anymore—that much I knew—and I never saw her standing close to him or even alone in a room with him. She was in a hurry to get away from him—and is it my imagination, or do I see his arm reaching out, grabbing her to pull her back to him? The first thing that happened when I came to America was that I got sick.
Terribly sick—burning-up, shaking-cold, itching-like-crazy sick all over my body. What is the place? The hospital is named Misericordia, just to tell you right away how miserable it is. That little bird gazed up at me and gave me a look—a look I could never forget—and it was like the little bird was so scared, he just stopped breathing; his little eyes glazed. Maybe I am dying of fear too, before the sickness can get me. Later, I would find out it was chicken pox, a common but, at that time, very serious childhood disease.
But in the moment, I thought the same mysterious force that killed the bird was attacking me.
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This could not happen in my worst nightmare. Only life can be this terrible. They come for me in the dead of night—masked men who grab me, wrap me in a sheet, tie me in all the way, and do not even let my head stick out. They twist the ends of the body sack, like a Tootsie Roll wrapper. Blind in that sack, I squirm and yell for my mother. And my mother screams and cries, like only a mother can scream, for them to let her go with her baby girl.
Let me go with her. Madre de Dios. Mother of God. She runs down the five flights of stairs alongside the ambulance attendants; we hit every corner of every banister at every landing. Ouch, ouch, ouch. Bagged, I am thrown in the back of the ambulance. Did they have to turn on that wailing noise? I had never heard a siren before. Oh, Madre de Dios, that makes it so much scarier.
My heart is popping out of my chest. Maybe I am dead already, wrapped in the sheet like a corpse in a shroud? Blind in the bag, racing through the screaming city night to who knows where? How can they not care? Everybody has always cared for me. I had a very similar background being that I was also born in Southern Texas. It made me want to write the story of my life. I hope to see another book by this wonderful author. Maria S.
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Thank you for your courage Grace. Format: Paperback Verified Purchase. Bought this for my wife, she liked it! My mom.
I found this book very interesting. I am sure that it took courage to write such a personal book. Growing up in Texas is always an experience. Format: Hardcover. Women have had more hurdles than men and when I hear success stories from women who are resilient, overcoming obstacles, it builds my confidence that this country does offer opportunities through hard work.
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The author offers proof that education enhances the success and contribution of Hispanic females with limited economic opportunities. A Tale of Survival is well written and a good read. Format: Paperback. Grace flores-Hughes' "A Tale of Survival" is an exceptional book by an urban survivalist--who lived a tough life, overcame adversity, and succeeded!
This memoir tears away the Mexican-American facade that "everything is alright, as long as we don't make a spectacle of ourselves", and describes the human cost of growing up in an environment where "white is always right", and everyone else is wrong or pushed aside. Flores-Hughes tells a great story and makes a compelling case for forging ahead in spite of roadblocks, adversity, and prejudice--and succeeding! You should read this book to learn a little more about life, yourself maybe , and mostly how to win despite the odds. I believe that this book may serve as an inspiration to others, as well as to provide a unique look into the life of an Hispanic woman that has faced many obstacles and now is exceedingly successful.
There are many books of immigrants, blacks, asians but non of them talk about the abuse and racism that happened to Mexican-Americans within the United States. This unique book is one that many should start reading and paying close attention to, that little girl in the front cover of the book is now a successful woman, but from the very first time you start reading, you stop and think to yourself This book shows the true meaning of over coming adversity.
It's a must read, once you pick it upYou won't be able to put it down! One person found this helpful. See all 9 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.
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