Author: Marco Suazo, Pima Community College
Dear younger self,
You are probably asking yourself why you can’t have a normal suburban life, why you can’t live the way all your other friends live and have all the things they do. You might hate it right now but I promise you’re not so different after all because at the end of the day we all have our own story to tell. You’ll also come to appreciate everything, from having a car to being able to buy some Oreos at the Circle K. I’ll explain some things that at the time you might not understand but hopefully, you’ll look back at this letter and it might help you along the way. I know you don’t understand many things that are going on but I promise the older you get the more you’ll understand.
You hate leaving home at 6 am and not coming back until 11 pm because you take the city bus so you can’t go home because by the time you get there you would have to leave for soccer practice. You hate not being able to get picked up by a car after school and taking the city bus for everything but you’ll come to appreciate those long quiet nights riding the bus. You might be wondering why Mom never gets a car or a driver’s license but you’ll see come to realize that due to Mom being undocumented she did not want to take any chances of getting pulled over and deported. There will be times when you’ll be walking in the summer heat and you’ll ask Mom why can’t she drive but she’ll avoid the question as much as possible, just remember to go easy on her. I know it’s confusing at first but trust me you’ll have some memorable experiences from being in the streets and you’ll also meet a lot of nice people along the way.
There are certain situations that you’ll come to reminisce about with your family but it’ll also make you think about how far you’ve gone and make you appreciate everything you have. There will be a day when you’re inside Walmart with your Mom and brother but when we are almost at the cashier your brother asks Mom if she can buy him a pack of Oreos but she said no. Throughout the years she’ll bring that day up and she’ll talk about how she cried that night because it’s not that she didn’t want to buy my brother Oreos it’s that she didn’t have money for it because she cleaned houses and received 10$ a week so it broke her when she couldn’t buy her son a pack of cookies since it would leave her with no money. There will always be a time that you’ll get angry with your Mom because you would always watch nickelodeon and you’ll see these cool toys that would say “ONLY 24.99” so you would always ask Mom if we can buy one but she would always say “yeah, we’ll see” . After a few years of Mom saying the same thing you’ll start to get angry with her because you never got one but once you’re older you’ll look back and come to realize why she couldn’t and Mom was probably just as sad as you were for not being able to get a toy.
One day you’ll be dropped off at your grandparents’ house and your Mom will say “bye” and “your grandparents will take care of you if I don’t come back.” Mom was very sad and she was crying and she’ll also tell you a lot of other things but you’ll end up confused. Mom ended up coming back so you never really thought much about it until you got older and asked about that day, it turns out she was going to an interview to see whether she was getting deported or not. Thankfully she did not so be thankful because your life could have been completely different.
Everything will be okay, I promise you that things will get better the older you get and you might get mad, angry, frustrated, confused but you’ll understand one day just have patience.