A Man Named Enrique

The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.”

-E.C. McKenzie

I had just gotten off the bus with my two teenage daughters. As we walked to the little convenience store, we passed by two men standing in front of this typical brick and mortar, corner store.

The older gentleman looked to be a Mexican man possibly in his 50’s+, while the younger gentleman was African-American and possibly in his 20’s.

The Mexican man shouted something at us to try and grab our attention. But I just smiled and waved at them. I kept on walking past them and into the store.

The sun rays were flaming hot and we just wanted to go about our business as quick as possible and get out of this heat. We were sweaty and irritable as anyone would imagine in these circumstances, having just been on the bus and walking around downtown for miles.

So after we purchased our beverages, we headed out of the store again. The three of us were walking away from the store, when the Mexican man hollered at us again to get our attention.

My daughter’s both kept walking, and I stopped mid-track and turned and looked back at his direction again. He was smiling really big and yelled “Ven mija!

I stood there trying to decide if I was going to just ignore this man and keep going on my way or not. It was way too hot, and honestly I didn’t really want to be inconvenienced. I was just trying to get to where I needed to be.

But my empathetic nature just took over my feet. My oldest daughter gave me this look of disapproval. I told my daughters to just wait right there. I walked over to where the man stood.

Immediately, he started talking in Spanish to me. I couldn’t make out most of what he was saying because his speech was slurred. I think he had been drinking. But he seemed in joyful spirits.

The African-American gentleman just sat on the sidewalk quietly beside us. I glanced at him a couple of times, but he just shook his head and looked down.

I was worried because I couldn’t understand the mans slurred speech and thus didn’t know how I could help him.

So I asked him,

“Where’s your family?”

But this made the man just bust out in sobbs. Now I began to panic. I wasn’t expecting this reaction because he was just so happy a few seconds prior. I was thinking, “How am I going to console a grown old man that I don’t know, and can barely understand?”

His tears gushed out. The floodgates poured and poured. I nervously tried to console him.

I only saw my own daddy cry a few times in his life, and very minimal tears at that.

I was surprised that a grown Mexican man would be so raw with his emotions with a complete stranger, and with a woman at that.

But for whatever reason, he needed someone to listen to him. I tried to listen intently to his words between the sobbing.

He shook his head to say he had no family. He raised 2 fingers and told me he had family in Mexico and in Chicago. He confessed that he was depressed. He was bawling and bawling. I touched him gently on the shoulder while he grieved in front of me. I tried to calm him and console him right there in front of many passerby’s.

He was standing in a little space by the building with his head and hand leaned on the wall. His tears and sobbs were heartbreaking. I was in total shock. I was at a loss for words.

I noticed he was wearing a long black rosary around his neck. I told him in Spanish (to the best of my ability) that he was going to be ok and that God is big and powerful and HE was gonna take care of him. I pointed to his rosary and he nodded in agreement.

I asked him if he was thirsty and wanted something to drink. He said if he told me, that I would laugh at him. I assured him that I would not. But he could not bring himself to tell me what he wanted.

Then the African American gentleman called me over. I asked him do you know this man? But he didn’t answer my question. He said, “I’m really hungry and I need some food.”

So I called my daughters back and we went into the corner store again and bought two bags of canned foods, one for each man, along with something to drink.

I came back out and handed both men each a bag of canned foods.

The African-American gentleman said thank you and God bless you to me.

The older man was sobbing still. He accepted the bag and did the symbolic Catholic cross prayer with his hands. I looked at him and told him that I know that he is a strong Mexican man that has faith in God, and that he will be ok.

I said to him, the next time I see you, you will be much better. I reached out to shake his hand.

“My name is Deanna, what’s your name?” I asked him.

“Enriqie,” he responded.

The last thing I said to him as I walked away was to,

“Be strong! Be strong!”

As we walked and turned the corner down the street, I became teary eyed and full of emotion.

I began to think of my own father, who was also a strong Mexican man. I thought of how it must have felt for him, to be alone in this country that never accepted him.

What must it have felt like to be thirsty or hungry, but to have no family around. To be starving and lonely. To have to be strong when he felt weak. To want to communicate with someone, anyone who will listen.

At this moment I was thankful that I was able to help two men who were down on their luck. But I was moved to tears by the older man’s emotional reaction.

It was like he was trying so hard to flag me down and get me to pay attention to him. Initially I barely acknowledged him. But the instance I did pay attention to him, he knew he was safe to release his emotions with me.

I don’t know why I’m so hypersensitive, but I am. I also don’t know why this man trusted me, but it makes my soul happy that he did.

I can’t help all of humanity at once, but I can always help someONE.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

-E.C. McKenzie

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Works Cited:

E.C.McKenzie, 14,000 Quips & Quotes for Writers & Speakers,Baker Book House 1980

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Mixed Emotions

I’m super stoked about my new apartment. They are still getting it prepared for me to move into.

I should be super happy right now, and I am. But I’m also super gloomy too. It’s like I still grieve the loss of that support that I was supposed to have.

You know…..to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death do us apart. I’m grieving my family being a broken family. 💔 Again! 😢

I’m choked up with tears right now. I know I’m making the right decision, but why does it hurt so bad? Oh well. I must keep moving forward.

Photo Credit:

Unsplash – Henry, Matthew

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Incremental Improvement During Divorce

Hello friends! I miss y’all! I miss blogging. I miss getting the little “dings” when WordPress notifies my phone that I have a new comment. I miss my blogger community, and all those fellow blogger buddies that always encouraged me.

What have y’all been up to? I feel like I’ve just resurfaced from bootcamp, jail, or something of that sort.

As you all probably remember, I’ve refrained from writing content for my blog, because my legal aid representative advised me to. I’ve tried to leave little updates, here and there, about my progress. Please bear in mind though, that safety is still my number one concern.

When you leave an abusive relationship, you never know what can trigger a person. As we have recently seen on the news, some women do not survive their abusive relationships . Ultimately, that’s why many women stay in the abusive relationship. The fear of being harmed is enough.

Most of the abuse towards me was not physical. But nonetheless, it was very detrimental to my mental health and overall wellbeing. I’m thankful that I am now receiving medical care from the VA outpatient clinic here in Fort Worth.

I do believe that I’m finally in the end part of this divorce. At least I pray so. I will tell you this though, my divorce had some viscious sides to it. And I know there’s more to come.

The good news is, that I finally received my VA housing voucher. I am currently searching for a 3 bedroom apartment or house. YAY!!! Im super excited!!! Any day now, I’ll be decorating my new home, preparing tasty meals, and baking cookies for my children.

My progress has come slowly in small, incremental steps. I am thankful for all that I have been able to accomplish during this time at the safe home. At times I was so discouraged, I thought it would never come.

While I am elated to finally be at this point, I still live in some fear. He (my ex) still makes threats of taking the children away from me and threatens to create a smear campaign with the judge. He stalks me with a fake Facebook account that he created just to watch my every move. I feel like I can’t really live and enjoy my life.

At one point I thought he (my ex) was being genuine, and wanting to reconcile the marriage. Thank God I didn’t fall for it though. I can’t wait for this dreadful divorce to be over, so that I can start to rebuild a new life.

I’m looking forward to my new lease on life. I can’t wait to see what grand opportunities come my way. I’m sure my future will be much more sunnier than the last ten years of my life. ☀️

I can’t wait to move into our new home and be able to cook what WE want to eat. I’m ecstatic about creating a sanctuary for my children. There will no longer be a tyrant controlling every detail of our life, and making us the scapegoat of every thing that makes him a miserable man. There won’t be anyone hurling the ugliest words imaginable at me and my children. We’re free to enjoy a peaceful environment.

Incremental improvements, that’s where I am at in this divorce. Hopefully by this time next week, I will be in my new home. I need this blessing expedited. Keep my family in your thoughts and prayers.

Love,

Candid Chicana

Deanna Guadalupe Montalvo

Photo Credit: Unsplash Spratt, Annie

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Resilience

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted an update on my progress in a domestic abuse shelter for women.

This is a very difficult place for any woman/child to be in. And after being here 2 months, I have met many women who have endured much worse case scenarios than I. It breaks my heart, and I am saddened about the extreme violence towards women.

The ladies who are living here were asked to pick a WORD that would be their focus for the 2018 year. I thought long and hard, and decided that my word for the year is RESILIENCE.

RESILIENCE is defined as:

1. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.

2. The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.

I chose that word because it reminds me of my hero. My father. Jose Guadalupe Montalvo. The most resilient man that I was ever priveleged to know. He endured 16 years of heart and kidney failure, two of the most vital organs he needed. I lament his loss for he is no longer with me.

My father passed on 7/12/2016. He is the reason why; I started writing again, created my blogs, and am seeking a redirection into a more fulfilling career. One where I can best put to use my God given talents. My dream is to influence others with my craft.

Losing my father was what caused me to reevaluate my life. I knew that I needed to make a change. And slowly but surely I have been taking small steps into creating a more fulfilling life. A life where I am making a living doing something I love.

I finally feel like I’m gaining some momentum and am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am excited about my future once again.

I am in the end of a training at The Women’s Center located here in Fort Worth. They are helping me in my redirection towards a career change. They are also helping me with resources, tools, and mentors.

One activity we had to do, was to select 3 images. One that represents our current situation. One that represents the future situation we would like to be in. And finally, one that represents how we will get to that future situation.

My first picture is a beat up, old hippie van. It is stranded in the middle of nowhere. It’s not going anywhere. It’s just stuck. I picked it because that is how my life feels at the moment. That represents my current situation.

My second picture is a young girl in a pair of pink boots. I like this picture for my future situation because it looks like she’s found the “right fit”. This is me after I’ve found the “right career”. I just want to be doing what I love, and be getting paid for it.🤑

The third picture is a music sheet with a pencil. This represents my how I will get to my future. Its symbolic to me, for creating art. For doing my craft. I don’t literally write and compose music, but I do create my own art/content. And that is my ticket towards my future career.

This week, they helped me with creating a commercial for job interviews, editing and revising my resume, and practiced my response to questions at a mock interview.

I am wanting to expedite my move out of the shelter home due to the fact that this is not a permanent housing facility. I am finding it difficult, due to many roadblocks in my way.

I have started a gofund me account to raise my goal of $1,000. With this money I can get myself an apartment and start over again.

I hope that if you are inspired by me or my story that you might be moved into giving a donation to my fundraiser.

https://www.gofundme.com/2et26h-starting-over-again-after-divorce

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Court

I still can’t say much about my divorce….(lawyers orders.) Much has transpired, and I’m doing my best. Please keep my little family in your prayers as I go to court on Feb 28, 2018 at 9:00a.m. I’m ready for it all to be over so that I can resume my life and blog again without restrictions. I just want to thank all of you who read my Candid Chicana blog or my Deanna’s Dark Diary blog. I haven’t gone anywhere I’m just getting my life in order.

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Hurry Up, And Wait

I don’t particularly feel well. I know I need to see a Dr. My caseworker is trying to get me connected with some VA reps. But I’ve lost faith, due to past experience. My Scoliosis and other pains are non service related, so I don’t know if they’ll be able to help me.

Everything is so slow, that I feel like it’s Hurry up and wait! That’s a saying that I was taught in the military. It’s very applicable advice, because in life, we want to hurry up especially during the bad stuff. But unfortunately, we must wait.

I may just be getting fatigued, because both my mind and my body feel like they’re not at 100%. In other words,I feel like it’s going to be a long road to recovery. I’m hoping for the best, despite how my body feels. Maybe I need to do stretching or yoga or something to alleviate some of the pain I have.

Photo Credit:

Unsplash, Rawpixel.com

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