Planted in Texas
The Texas Story Project.
This is more than a story of a clothing store, a mother, two young girls, and many trips to the churros stand.
My family migrated to McAllen, Texas from Mexico, and my mother immediately began to earn a living. She worked for many employers, then became the manager of one clothing store. At El Centro Mall, my mother’s selling rates were high, given she has a way with accessories, clothing, and people. Her two little girls saw it all.
My father also worked, and when no one could care for my sister and me, we accompanied my mother at work. Although this was prohibited, it was her only alternative. My mother often purchased food for Caro and me, and we would sit at a corner of the store to eat supper and complete school work. Other times, we sat near the cash registers because we loved to see our mom busy at work. As young girls, the store was dangerous, and our activities were limited. If my sister and I became anxious and began to bicker, my mother would settle the dispute over our Mexican favorite— churros. Even through the difficulty of schedules, my parents never stopped working.
I wish I could remember the conversations between my mother and the customers. I wonder if she mentioned the city we left behind. I believe my sister and I were part of the conversations, because we were the main reason for the migration. My parents sacrificed a beautiful, and complete life for one in the United States. The state of Texas was a few minutes away from our home and we were familiar with it from previous visits. Still, I could not be prouder of my mother, a housewife, employee, and a superwoman. She always kept warm, delicious meals on the stovetop and worked diligently at multiple aspect of life. My father, a man who was not machista, and did not speak of gender roles. My father, the man who at times drove accompanied by his children to pick up his wife from night shifts at the mall.
From my migrating parents, I have learned the importance of having faith in God’s plan for each of us, but in having a vision as well. They trusted in the United States and more importantly in their family. Today, I wish to be, at least, half as brave and hardworking as my parents. Not only did they create a new life for my sister and I, but they continue to work hard as the working-class community experiences many hardships. Today, the Rio Grande Valley is full of Mexican culture and is a popular destination where opportunities bloom. My sister and I, were like two flowers planted and bloomed from Mexican roots on American soil. I will always thank my parents for fearlessly raising us and trusting Texas as the correct land for us.
Priscila Reyes is a sophomore studying History at St. Mary's University. Originally from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Priscila has lived in McAllen, Texas since she was a toddler. Her freshman year in college, she traveled to Abraham Lincoln's hometown for the Santa Anna Leg Repatriation project.
Posted January 23, 2018