“I don’t have a dad.” These were the words said by this little girl who is also my beautiful sister , Scarlet, just last week. I swallowed and held back my tears and told her, “Hey you have me as well as my siblings and we love you so don’t ever think you don’t have anyone, because whatever you need I am here okay.” She gave me a look with eyebrows shooting up with a look of wonderment and with a soft, whispering voice said, “Okay.” I still couldn’t shake those words she said, because deep down I know she may have some conflict of why her father didn’t choose to be in her life. To the women who also don’t have the support of a mother or father I can almost feel the hurt and pain associated with such a part missing from one’s life, but remember no matter the struggle you are in if you continuously turn to the one above He will help restore you. The brokenness one feels growing up is actually a blessing in disguise, and I will give four reasons, based on my experiences, as to why growing up without a father was a blessing.
- Mom’s (especially Latina mothers) will strengthen her daughters to become self-sufficient and to rely on no one but herself. I always saw my mom fixing cars growing up, and that really instilled the confidence to teach myself on how to fix cars among other various things. I remember when the light fixtures were broken, so she had ideas on how to fix it and would proceed to do just that. She realized she doesn’t have the strength of a man, but she knows she will be able to cope through anything that life may throw at her. Looking back on things seeing her fixing things, without the help of anyone, really gave me the strength to keep giving it my all-in life for the greater good.
- There will be adults in your life who are willing to be mentors and you may learn to be a “loner”, as well as an extravert when the spontaneity of one is being in place. The two extremes of such mindset are not a personality disorder, but the workings of the Holy Spirit. These mentors in your life will become meaningful people that may not always be there, but at the right time they were there to bring light to your life.
- I have lost everything material in my life, and through this experience I became a kinder person who stands up for those who can’t as well as for myself. Latina moms may get mad and lash out, but my mom is always a reminder that if someone tries to hurt me that I should proceed to defend myself. Growing up I was teased by boys, and I fought back even if I had to stab a boy with my #2 pencil in middle school, which in all fairness, I stabbed myself trying to stab him. (I should have resorted to non-violence, but I was raised to fight for myself since my uncle, cousins, and brother taught me to be a fighter.)
- Being a giver to those in need is ingrained in our culture, because we realize we could lose everything. As I grow up I have seen the struggle my mom goes through, but I proceed to want to give back. She gave up so much of herself to raise us, and no money in the world can buy back that time. From walking in the winter to get groceries to fighting for us when someone tried to hurt any of her children she endured a lot. People with the lack of “culture” may find our relationship different, but ultimately, she is one women who God made a warrior.
Ultimately one should be grateful for those people who are there for you, even if it’s for a short period of time or a long time. There will be people in your life who will be the light, so be open to learning as much as you can from people as well as learning to give back.