A Life Changing Decision at Fifteen
Immigrated from Mexico
“I had to cook and clean, and I didn’t like it because I missed my family, so every night I would cry.”
I’ve known Rosa for almost my entire life.
She started working with my family when I was two years old, right after my mom had my sister. Both of my parents worked a lot, so they needed Rosa to help them around the house.
When I first asked Rosa if I could interview her, she seemed confused and tentative. She said that maybe it would be better if I interviewed someone who could speak better English, but I told her that her English is good (which it is) and that even if it wasn’t, I still remember a little Spanish from fifth and sixth grade Spanish class (which I don’t). When she first started telling her story, she was a little hesitant. The first thing she said is that she was fifteen when she came to America and that the reason she came was because her parents were sick, and she couldn’t afford to take care of them. So, she left everything and everyone she knew to come to America.
That really struck me as interesting. Imagine going to an entirely different country, to pay to help someone you love, but with the knowledge that you’ll never see that person again. That’s the decision Rosa made when she was fifteen, only a year or two older that everyone in the grade. It’s sad but also kind of amazing. Imagine working several jobs and building a house with your sister in a country that speaks an entirely different language than your own. Imagine doing that in ninth or tenth grade. Imagine how difficult that must have been and imagine how strong and persevering and full of hope you have to be to be. Rosa is one of the most amazing people I know, and I’m really glad I finally got to learn her story.