Her Name in Mine
My middle name is Teresa. It was given to me after my great-grandmother Teresa. I never met her–I had only heard stories. She lived in Colombia most of her life until she immigrated to the United States. Her life in Colombia was not the best. She had no opportunities to succeed. They stopped school after 8th grade there. She married and had 12 kids. “…like the Mexicans, don’t like their strong women,”(House on Mango Street Sandra Cisnero). The women are not allowed to divorce or have the freedoms that women in America had. When she came here she brought part of her family, which included my mom. My mom worked hard here, she took all the opportunities she wouldn’t have in Colombia. About a year before I was born my mom and great-grandma spoke about when she would have her first kid. Me. My Abuela would say how she would care for and babysit and feed me. She passed away before I was born. But now I have her name in mine, along with all the opportunities because of her decision to take her family to a better place.
When I was younger, like many other young girls, you hear about the petal game. You pick a flower and rip off the petals saying, “he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not”. If the last petal you remove you land on “he loves me”, then the boy you were thinking of loves you, if it’s “he loves me not” then he doesn’t. I remember picking flowers with my cousins and they were doing this and I just joined in. I didn’t really think about it, none of us did, about what we were saying. But because we had seen it at school we copied the girls. These childhood games were so simple but so fun.
Being the oldest kid is a unique experience. When I was 9 my siblings were 3 and 5. We would come home from school and my great-aunt would babysit us while our parents were at work. But they wouldn’t listen to her. At that age they were always fighting, everything was a problem and no one would listen. I would try to do my homework and I would hear them fighting outside. I had to go out and settle or figure out what the issue was. I felt overwhelmed every time I heard them and I had to go out and diffuse the situation. Being the oldest sister means you have these jobs. Although they did grow out of this behavior, I still have so many responsibilities to care for them, and this time they listen.
Grudges of a Little Girl
When my cousins and I were little we were inseparable. It was me, and my 2 cousins, Amber and Cass who are sisters. Any family event was boring unless they were there. Going anywhere with them was more fun than the last. We had our ups and downs though. Once we fought over the tiniest things and had the grudge lasted what felt like forever. Cass was upset because Amber and I had both been fairies, and we weren’t allowing her to. But then Amber got upset at me. And then there was a divide between us. This grudge lasted a long time. It was Thanksgiving and we went over to their house, and I was so sad that things were the way that they were. Slowly though, things got better. But these grudges of little girls were really real when they didn’t have to be.
Strangers you Always Remember
There are strangers that I will always remember. I always wonder where they could be now.
Once, when I was around 7, my mom and I met a girl at Walmart. My mom isn’t a talkative person when it comes to this but for some reason, she was that day. We were in the checkout line when this girl, with a shaved head, looking kind of beat up and wearing dirty clothes, lined up behind us. She also had a baby doll with her. I remember feeling a little scared, scared of how she looked. She started a conversation with my mom, who I thought would try to shut her down. But she continued. I forget the details but I remember how nice and sweet she turned out to be. She was a kind girl, who spoke so nicely to my mom. I believe she had the baby doll for a class she was taking or something like that, and my mom asked her more about her and she shared. And I still remember this all, I remember this stranger.