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Far Fetched, But True. Stories About My Mom. Part 1
Coming to America
My mother, was a lady that always found a way to get to where she felt she needed to go. She was a survivor and a scrapper. The methods she used ...were not always orthodox, but they worked for her. When I was four years old, in 1982, mom took her children and flew to New York City. Mom was leaving the Dominican Republic and our dad. My sisters were ten and fourteen and my brothers were fifteen and three. My parents had a fight, he hit her, and she left. She always told me "If a man hits you one time, there will be a second. Don't stick around to wait for it". Although, she ended up getting back with my dad and forgiving him, I always remembered what she said.
Mom decided to go to New York, because her father and a couple of her aunts lived there. My “aunts” were a couple, they had been together for a long time; before lesbian couples were more accepted in society. I remember them as being very funny and kind. However, for some reason, she wasn't able to contact them or my grandfather when we first arrived.
The Great Idea
Mom decided to go to the Police department. She walked up to the high desk of the police officer in charge and told the police officer the situation and that we had no place to go. He said that it was not his problem, they were too busy, and she should go to the housing department the next day. My mother had no intention of staying on the streets that night. She told him that if they didn't find a place for her and her kids to spend the night safely, she would put her kids to sleep there. With that, she turned to my older brother and sister and told them to lay down my little brother and me on a blanket. To the amazement of the police men watching, she was putting her kids to sleep in the middle of the New York Police Department.
The police officer in charge talked to another and a little while later they brought us to an apartment that was empty except for four bunk beds. About a week later my mother was able to communicate with her aunts and we went to stay with them for a while.
The Next Great Idea
Eventually, my mom wanted to move us all to our own apartment and she went to the housing department in the lower east side of Manhattan. There was a waiting list for the apartments in that area because they were very cheap, located in downtown Manhattan, and near the World Trade Center. They were the probably the most wanted housing project apartments in New York City. The waiting list was ten years long! A man at the housing department office told my mom that there was no way to help her out at the moment and went to get the waiting list paperwork for her to fill out. While he was gone, my mom told her oldest kids "When that man comes back, I will go use the bathroom. I want you to tell him that your mom is very depressed and that she has talked about throwing herself and her children off the Empire state building if we can't find a place to live today."
After, this little act took place, somehow they were able to find a vacant apartment that same day.
As I got older, I wondered at this experience. Surely the same thing would not happen in this day and age and I'm still surprised it happened back then.
Apparently they didn't have the baker act (A statute allowing for involuntary examination of an individual who is threatening harm to others or themselves) back then! I'm still surprised it worked, but it taught me some valuable lessons.
#1 Where there is a will, there is a way! and
#2 My mom was a survivor but a bit off!
We lived in that apartment for ten years and my mom found work as a crossing guard and a cake maker. Eventually my dad came to live with us. They started reading the Bible and applying Bible principle.They even started to teach us about the Bible. Eventually though they stopped and let the problems of this world overtake them. Old habits came creeping in and then the arguing started back up. I don't remember him hitting her again. Well, there was that one crazy time when they attacked each other. I was twelve... but that's another hub. I want to write down all their crazy stories so that I don't forget them. Now that they have passed away I miss them and I'm grateful to them, because even with all their crazyness, they loved us in their own way and always made sure we were fed, clothed, and had shelter. My dad was charming and funny. It was hard not to like him. My mom loved life and was always making the most of it. I love them still and always.
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