Upon returning to the United States in the early 1980s my mother tried to pick up the pieces and continue living. She was mostly focused on finding better employment and helping her mother financially in Mexico. One thing missing in her life was a stable relationship. Already in her early 30s she believed that finding love and a lasting relationship were out of the question. Moreover, she was not even sure she could have children.
Fertility was a doubt because my mother was plagued with bad health throughout her life. Growing up doctors always told her she had a weak heart. Later, in her twenties, she was forced to undergo a procedure to remove polyps from her nose–without anaesthetic–a surgery that would haunt her nightmares for years. She still remembers how the doctor performing the operation had to sit on her chest in order to keep her restrained. Further, she contended with having cysts on her ovaries. Eventually one of her ovaries had to be removed and she was told that having a child would be difficult.
My mother continued dating off and on and in time she started dating my father. Although jaded by past relationships she always longed for finding a lasting relationship. My father had been chasing her for years and, knowing him though a previous boyfriend, she thought he was a good catch. At the very least he was a non-drinker who worked hard, which to my 34 year old mom, was probably good enough in a man. My mother never loved him but thought that maybe in time it would come to her.
The story often differs but sometime around 1983 my father and mother decided to have a child. My mother says that he promised to marry her once I was born and she, naively, believed him. I was born in January 1984 and, soon thereafter, my mother and father broke up. Their relationship had grown tumultuous after my birth and from then on my father was never in either of our lives.
As luck would have it my maternal grandmother died around 1985. Lacking a legal status, my mother was forced to risk everything to return to Mexico to be at her funeral. She had family members take care of me while she was away. Fortunately, she was able to return to the United States and continue her journey through life.
Things would take a change for the better in the next few years.