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  • Land of Enchantment. Yep, born and raised. You know in one of

    those towns everyone claims to hate but never leaves? Parents struggled

    just like every other paisano in hopes of a brighter sun and greener grass on

    the other side of the wall. Five of us at the dinner table, my two hermanas,

    mom and dad. I always followed my daddy’s footsteps, literally. Picking

    weeds at 7 in the morning on Saturdays to me were the best if my partner

    was my dad. We were the perfect team. There was nothing we couldn’t do

    together. And that’s how it would always be, right? It was a week and a half

    after New Years. Roads were icy and god knows my dad wasn’t much of a

    careful driver. “Why don’t you ever wear your seat belt?” “Para que? Solo

    estorban y no sirven para nada.” They’re useless he would respond. If only

    he knew that piece of nylon could have saved us the heartache. ME the


    For seven days I stood outside that ICU door hoping to catch a

    glance of him. Weeks passed and he bounced around care units. I could no

    longer wrap my head around books in school, and I began to fall behind.

    Responsibilities began to pile up on me, and mouths were shut at home. No

    one spoke of anything. Education was no longer important since not much

    was expected from me. The further I traveled down the wrong road, the

    more I thought about what dad wanted for his little girl. “Hechale ganas a la

    escuela mija, para que seas algo grande y no termines con un trabajo como

    el mio.” Study hard so that you don’t end up with a job like mine.

    Years continued to pass and this tormented me even more.

    Freshman year came around the corner and I was determined to make

    him proud. I’m not going to give up a bright future anymore. Goals and

    aspirations sparked in me. I saw the daily struggle my mom went through

    day after day. She bends over backwards so that nothing is ever missing for

    us. So why wasn’t I trying ? I knew I had to big reasons to try harder. I knew

    I needed a way to make mama proud and realize her effort was well worth

    it. That for me was a good enough reason.

    So the sleepless nights and earing out of my social life began. “ It’ll

    be worth it.” I keep telling myself. Education became more and more

    important as doors opened for me. I know I have all the support I need to

    become successful. The thought of me becoming someone and making

    everyone proud is beginning to sound so real. I am going somewhere. And

    its all for my father, my sidekick.
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