When things go bad in our lives and lets face, they do and they will, we will hear those words that will ring loud and clear from our mother;
There will be days like this when.....
We all move from one home to another. It happens each and every day. Some moves are by choice and some moves are not so friendly. I myself have always wondered when we do choose to move are we leaving bad memories behind hoping and praying that a new beginning will be just that, a new beginning? Do we move because of a job promotion or do we move because we have out grown our home? Do we move leaving bad memories behind, or do we move because hell, we just feel like it?
Up rooting your loved ones telling them, "I promise, you will make new friends and things are going to work out just fine." leaving ones friends as a child can be crippling to a growing child but at the same time we as parents often tell ourselves that the friends our children make can me most questionable. We fill our heads with hope, wonder, excitement, and as always a new adventure.
Moving into the mobile home was just that. It was a new adventure for myself, Felix, and the girls. I was just ending my seventh month of being pregnant and I was more then thrilled that the girls finally get a room of their own, I was even more excited that I was going to have a walk-in closet. Funny, the smaller things in life can just thrill a woman when we see a walk-in closet.
My parents came forward and flipped for the painting of the new home, well new for us. I had never lived in a mobile home and I was more then ready for a new set of friends, new beginning, new schools, new families, just new everything. Where we came from was not the best of the best. It was pretty rough. When your as white as me and you move from a 98% Hispanic community well, you tend to stick out like a sore thumb.
Once we became settled in Savi and Sara quickly made friends with many of the children in the park. I felt a sense of relief that they were making friends and yet, I wondered if they were actually good people that would influence my girls in a positive way. My parents made all efforts to come around as much as possible to help me get settled in. Felix was feeling the pinch of our space rent due to it being two hundred dollars more than our past rent and fifteen miles farther from his clients through his janitorial franchise.
Felix also decided it was best to buy more business from the company which provided him janitorial clients and when one action happens then another reaction follows suit. But, soon, we all began to settle into the new home. I had many neighbors come over and introduce themselves offering to help me out in setting up my kitchen cabinets, closets, and small task.
I always had a rule with my two daughters, if you choose to go to someone's house, then you must let me go with you so I can meet the families of where you want to go to. If I feel it is not safe or deemed fit for you to be there well, then your just not going to be there. That was when I began to learn very quickly that many of the mobile homes within this park were far less desirable then I would ever want my daughters to be at.
I began to see less desirable people than I had hoped for. I began to notice within weeks the amount of drugs that passed through the park, who the drug dealers were, where they lived, and that was when all the red flags of life began waving full and strong. I began to notice how many times the police had come to the park. They seemed to be very familiar with the park, where mobile homes were located, who lived there and the people's choice of activities which of course was dealing in drugs.
Now, I am not sure why or the reasoning behind this but for some reason, mobile homes seem to house some of the strangest people. It is not your typical housing track of hard working families living within the suburbs. I do believe that mobile homes is a 50/50 some are good, some are okay, then some are just really bad. But for me, the homes in and around mine seemed to have good people. One in particular was a lady named Raiza. She was known as the parks babysitter and the working families did trust her with their kids. She babysat Monday through Friday from six in the morning until six or seven at night.
Raiza was what I call a Saint. She opened her home to just about anyone, shared her food, shared her clothing when needed, gave rides to many of the people that were in need of a ride, and to boot, she was married with two kids. Her daughter Tiffy was a few years younger than Savi and just about the same age as Sara. Jonny her son was still a toddler and loved having all the kids come and stay because that meant he can play all day long.
Her husband was a hard working trucker and gone Monday through Friday then home on weekends only to pick up the same each and every Monday through Friday. Monday nights was when we began to notice each other. I would be outside kissing Felix good bye and she would be outside kissing her husband good bye. We often waved to each other and that was pretty much it.
Until that one Saturday. I was outside gardening and the backyard which was large, spacious, and this lush green grass was filled with sago palms. Along with the sago's was a plentiful orange tree that would blossom some the best tasting oranges ever. Me, I hated those sago palms. I had one massive one in the middle of the backyard filled with multiple sago's then I had some of them running along side the back fence. I was determined and willful to pull those stupid palms from the yard and dispose of them. I began pitching my shovel into the ground then bending over to pull and pull with every ounce of strength I had which of course which then lead me feeling a warm flush of water running down my legs. At first I thought I peed, but I didn't, I actually popped my water and within hours I was in labor.
Felix was gone at work so the only other person to call was my parents. My dad of course chewed me out for wanting to get rid of those palms, Felix was to far from the home to come and get me and take me to the hospital so my parents were the obvious choice.
Within twelve hours my beautiful baby girl was born. I named her Sela after the actress Sela Ward. But I hyphenated name Sela-Marie. She came two months early and when they placed her on my chest right after birth she fit from one side of my shoulder to the other from head to toe. She was so small, so tiny, and that was when I noticed that she was turning blue. Her lungs had stopped working and she was quickly dying.
She was put on life support to aid her in her breathing along with tubes shoved and planted on every inch of her body. Sara was less than thrilled that I was going to have a baby again because she loved being the baby of the family. She made it very clear that middle children are the less loved children of the family and she feared the most of being forgotten. Savi, well she could of cared less if I was even on planet. I could be starving, naked, and begging for food and shelter she would of just walked past me not giving me a second thought.
Sela was required to live within the hospital for a total of thirty two days due to her lungs and then turning jaundice. After her stay in the hospital she came home breathing on her own weighing a total of four pounds seven ounces. I remember very clearly I was so fearful of holding her. Felix did most of the holding of her for the first couple of weeks and Sara who was so scared to be the middle child stepped up rather quickly to helping me with her new baby sister. She went from hating me having another baby to loving her new baby sister so much. So, when Felix wasn't there because of work, Sara would take over and take care of her.
Savi of course, she had a different agenda. She was beginning to act out and that was the farthest thing I needed at the moment, a daughter who was determined to wreck everything. She became defiant to not only myself but to Felix as well often shouting, "your not my father, I don't need to listen to you" I am pretty sure every single step father had heard that. Something so painful and so hurtful and hell, maybe some just don't care. But Felix did. He loved those two girls as if they were his own.
Once Raiza got wind of me being home with my new daughter she made a bee-line drive right over to my house knocking then formally introducing herself. That was when a bond was born, a friendship developed rather quickly. We became inseparable. We were often tagged as "Lucy and Ethel" from I Love Lucy. I was the crazy red head willing to try anything and everything and she was Ethel the level headed one always trying to talk me out of doing things.
Little did I know my life was about to change in one single breath....but was it a good breath?