My mother grew up in el Campo de Luperon en Santo Domingo. Mami era pobre, she couldn’t afford shoes . The only shoes she could afford she only wore for school and mostly walked around barefoot everywhere else. I learned how to be a good woman through the stories Mami would tell my sister and me, stories about her personal life. Her father cheated on her mother with her mother’s sister and left my grandmother to raise my 55 week old mother on her own. Through her stories, I learned Mami met her dad when she was 19. Throughout the years, their relationship would be non-existent.
My mother became her mother's little assistant, by helping her raise her siblings. Mami didnt raise us the way her mother raised her. She had an open-door policy with us. My grandmother was very strict, she did not let her go across the street without an adult. My mother does not know what a club is. She would ask me “Yaddy como es eso adentro ?” Upbringing heavily influenced how she would raise her own children, she wanted them to enjoy their childhood and adolescence, to enjoy life. I had the best childhood and teenage years because she allowed us to be. We did not have a curfew, she would simply ask us the time we intended to be home and trusted we would keep our word. We often kept our word pero durante los años de ti-nei-yer no eramos facil. In spite of, we did not turn out so bad. We didn’t learn about sex, relationships, love, not about money, these are things I'd have to figure on my own. It wasn't easy for my mother, raising two girls 10 months apart, having no family in the U.S., being with an unfaithful man and working, as I got older I became more compassionate towards her story. From those stories, we take away her life's lessons and other anecdotes.
“Si un hombre te pega cuerno y tiene otro hijo., dejalo porque nunca van a cambiar”
“Ayuda a quien se esta ayudando a el/ella misma”
Among her lessons were those on faith/ My mother's relationship with San Miguel resembles that of a father-daughter relationship. She prepares his altar with red flowers , a red mantel and a bottle of Hennessy with a cigar. She would tell me “only because you don’t see something does not mean it don’t exist. “ she would show me to do right by people no matter who they are because como ella dice “aqui todo se paga. Dios ve toda la injusticia y en el final el lo cobra.” Lessons my mother taught me.
Yaddy Valerio is an NYC raised Dominican American from Inwood Manhattan. She is a baker + writer + food Everything enthusiastic. She writes for her site “In Yaddy’s Words” capturing her readers with her authentic storytelling. She believes stories save lives and that is the epitome of living. Writing and reading have helped me overcome many of life struggles. She is the creator of “In Yaddy’s Words.“
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