Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lucky Indeed

when i was a little girl i dreamed of being
a dallas cowboy cheerleader.
miss america.
and the first female president of the united states.
{not necessarily in that order.}
and, i really thought i could be all of those things.
{still do.}
if i dreamed. worked hard.
and made the right could happen.
you see, i was lucky enough to be born in a country where anything is possible.
and, i was lucky enough to be born to a woman who made me believe anything is possible.

so, i grew up.
and became a professional cheerleader {not for the cowboys}.
participated in a pageant {not miss america}.
obtained my degree.
worked hard.
fell in love.
had kids.
and, although i'm not running for president...
{i'm just too busy right now to take on the responsibilities of running a country.}
i'm sure i will have the opportunity to vote for a female president in my life time.

i have been lucky indeed.
unfortunately, not everyone has this same fortune.
therefore, mothers are carrying their babies across a scorching hot desert...
fathers and sons are saying their forever goodbyes...knowing they may never see each other again...
as they embark on a treacherous journey into a new land.
just to have a better life.
better luck.
i was an illegal immigrant once.
in between cheerleading, beauty scholarship pageants, and deciding when to run for president...
i scurried off to live in mexico.
no visa.  no green card. nothing.
just a cute outfit, my summer savings, and lots of luggage.
my first apartment was dirty with flying cockroaches the size of cars.
my second {and last} living arrangements was spent in a little closet type room with a mattress on the floor.
i. loved. it.
why? because the people were the kindest, most genuine i had known. they would have given me the shirt of their backs and their last piece of bread.  they lived simply...and were happy.
when i decided to leave it was with great mixed emotions.
i wanted to see my family.
but, i would miss the family and life i had grown to love.
i cried.  the whole way home.

the entire time i was there, i was never made to feel unwelcome...even when i worked in their industry...or struggled with their language.
instead, i watched american tourists behave poorly and become frustrated when their waiter couldn't speak english.
now, eighteen years later, i am watching my fellow americans - again - behave poorly.
it's hard to even breathe with all the hate floating through the air.
i understand we have people in our country illegally.
{not just those from mexico.}
i understand something needs to be done.
but, is this the answer?
fighting? judging? hating?
i can't blame them for wanting a better life for themselves, their children.
and, i do not know anyone who would go through the hardships, heart aches, and sacrifices these illegal immigrants have.  or anyone who would work the jobs they are doing...just to get by.

we have all come from somewhere else.
and i don't want to hear, "yeah, but my great, great, great grandfather did it legally!"
really? how do you know that?
because, i sure as hell don't. 
for all i know my great, great, great grandfather could have jumped off that boat and headed straight to the nearest pub.

i'm a dreamer. a romantic. an optimist.
i want this planet to be happy.
i truly want world peace.
with all the money being spent and the energy be exuded...
we could {together} work miracles.
but, right now, we are so divided and full of meanness...
nothing will ever get accomplished. never. ever.
i'm not sure what the answer is.  but i do know it's not what we are doing now.
whether you are a republican, democrat, independent...
believer, non-believer, or believer of the jolly green giant...
we need to come together and figure out what is best for this great country.
and for human kind.
may we all bless america.

"where we come from in america no longer signifies.  it's where we go, and what we do when we get there, that tells us who we are."
- Joyce Carol Oates

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