Looks Like We Made It: New Start 1.3

Please note that while we are sharing our memoir it is a work in progress.  The title “Looks Like We Made It” is a working title.  The words in the chapters are are also a work in progress.  This is not a final copy, but rather a chance to share our story.

New Start

Looks Like We Made It

New Start

Chapter 1.3

Sergio

My dad pulled up to the sign that read Delta Airlines, parked at the side of the curb and popped the trunk to pull out my luggage. He said be good, don’t get into any trouble. Little late for words of advice. What I wanted to hear from my dad was, I’ve changed my mind we don’t need to ship you off, let’s try and figure this out here in Colorado, there’s no need to send you to California. I learned at a young age this wasn’t how my dad’s thoughts worked. Once he made up his mind he remained silent and moved slowly into action.  Little words were exchanged and body language showed discomfort. I never doubted if my dad loved me, even when I was never on the receiving side of hugs or an I love you from  him. The love memories came from watching him get up for work in a middle of a snowstorm so he could provide for our family. He was never able to make it to any of my school functions because he had to work, but I always had clothes and food to eat.  To me, that was normal.  In the neighborhood we lived in my friends dads weren’t around and if they were they weren’t working. My neighborhood friend’s dad spent time hanging out at the bar or in the streets. I never saw my dad come home drunk, be loud or crazy, or ever try to hit my mom, that was the life that my friends lived.  But of course I wanted my dad to come to my school functions and to tell me he loved me, but that wasn’t his way. Convincing myself over and over that his lack of affection was normal was how I coped with his lack of interest.

Our  way of connecting was to wake  up on Saturday at six in the morning to help him load his truck for the flea market. His everyday job was a sanitation worker with a route at Peterson Air Force Base but on the weekends he was a salesman at the flea market.  He often collected items that other’s threw away, cleaned them up and sold them.  My dad noticed how much stuff soldiers threw away that could still be used. My job was to help load and unload the merchandise into the truck and to unpack the merchandise from the boxes onto blue tarps that were laid out on the ground so people could see what we had to sale as they walked by.  We would park the truck next to our selling station and I would sit in the driver’s seat of the truck with the window rolled down with my hand criss crossed and my head laying on them watching my dad sale stuff waiting for him to call me over to help. “Mijo check and see if we have a size 10 in those combat boots.”

“Yes, sir” I said and sometimes to make him laugh I would salute him as I was given orders.  

When potential buyers asked the cost of the boots my dad replied “Well these aren’t just any boots, they’re government issued pilot training boots, brand new they cost $200, but I’ll sell them to you for $20.”  My dad always had a good story to back up his merchandise. This was the only time I got to see him like this because before I woke up in the morning he would be gone to work and at night he would take a shower, eat and go to bed. So I enjoyed getting up early on the weekends to help him.  I was ready to be part of this boys club. I loved to see my dad in acton, he could sale anything. At the flea market I had dad to myself and the attention I wanted.  Getting up at 6 a.m. was worth the time I had with my dad.

But on this drive  everything was different.  Maybe what I wanted from my dad on the ride to the airport was for my dad to tell me we had a change of plans, that he needed me to stay and help him get ready for the flea market this weekend. Instead he handed me my bags and said “good luck mijo”. As I grabbed my bag our eyes met and without saying any words I could read his eyes reminding  me to call if I needed anything. And with a last nod of his head I walked away towards the entrance of the airport.

My mom already started walking toward the front doors to the ticketing station to get my boarding pass and to check in my bag.  She turned to hand me my boarding pass and pulled another envelope from her purse and said there’s some money in there for you to get something to eat on your way. She gave me a hug that was a little bit tighter and a little bit longer than usual. I didn’t pull away from her hold still hoping one of them would change their minds.  She pulled away and started to walk away but as I turned my head I got a glimpse of her eyes and I could see that she had started to cry, I felt a knot grow in my throat and my heart started to raise in my chest, I needed  to walk away or I would have started crying at the sight of her.

My mom was just like my dad when it came to showing emotion, they weren’t any good at it at all.  I watched her take out a Marlboro 100 cigarette from her purse,  light it up as she continued to cry. I never told my mom how much I appreciated how hard she worked to provide for me or to simply ask her to sit down relax from a hard day’s work. I wanted to run to her side, give her a hug and tell her thanks for everything she had done for me.  Giving me an envelope of cash was her way of writing me a letter telling me her feelings. Mijo I wish you didn’t have to leave, I wish you would have been able to figure out how to stay out of trouble so you didn’t have to leave us. But if you have to go I want to make sure that you are ok. Here’s a little something for you as you travel. Those were the words I imagined she had written on the bills as she placed them in the envelope. As mad as I made her in the past year she still would not allow me to suffer in any way.  My mom knew all too well what it was like to suffer.  She never came out and told me how hard it was for her as a young woman coming to America, I overheard conversations of how she entered the US with her unborn son to a strange new place where she knew no one. I could only imagine how many times she didn’t have enough to eat or a warm place to stay, but somehow she figured it out so her family would not struggle in the same way she did. The money was her way of telling me I’m watching over you. I started to feel a little guilty for all the crap I was putting my family through. Why did I have to take things as far as I had? It was because I wanted more from them, I needed their attention, but I sought it in all the wrong ways. I didn’t like feeling so lonely and I believed I had to figure out all of life’s lesson on my own. That’s exactly what I was doing, learning life on my own I felt alone and the people I surrounded myself with were there to help me not feel alone anymore. I searched  for my friends to acknowledge me. The bad part of this was that it usually meant me getting into trouble or breaking the law and I would have to pay for all the crazy things I did by being taken away from everything, including the people that helped me not feel alone.

I had never flown before and I was nervous.  I found my assigned seat, a window seat allowing me to look out unto the city that would no longer be my home.  I watched the flight attendant give out safety instructions and wondered if I would in fact be safe.  I started to feel anxious about meeting new people, would I have to start meeting new people right now in the plane with the person sitting next to me? What the hell would I talk to them about. Hello I’m Sergio I’m visiting California because I was kicked out of Colorado for stealing cars and breaking into houses or hey I’ve never flown before and what might help is a drink, could you order me a shot of tequila, they won’t sell to me because I’m only fifteen years old.  I decided not to speak to the person sitting next to me because I wasn’t up to wasting my time on small talk. I had life to figure out. Would I have to live up to my reputation or not in cali?  I realized I had the opportunity to change everything.  My reputation didn’t have to follow me to California.  I could create a new reputation.  I could reinvent myself into someone other than what people knew me as. Maybe I could make my mom and dad proud of the new person I had become, yeah this is what I wanted to achieve but could I really do it?

I was nervous to make the life change of moving to California.  I spent the last year of my life creating an image for myself.  People knew who I was in Colorado Springs.  After my flight to California everything about the world I lived in would no longer exist.  The world I lived in was small and it was instantly going to get bigger.  I was scared to death, I even second guessed my decision to leave the state.  Somehow the option of getting locked up seemed less scary than moving to an unknown world.  I knew what getting locked up felt like.  I knew the workers in the facility.  I made friends, and just by walking inside the detention centers people know who I was even if they had never met me. I had left a lasting impression in detention centers.  I knew what it felt like to sleep in a cell and  I knew what it was like to live in a facility and not see my family.  But California was an entirely new world.  I was afraid of the unknown.

The two hour flight passed in an instance, there was no turning back. Over the intercom the pilot announced to prepare to land, I turned my attention out the window and watched as the small objects got bigger the closer we came to land. I felt the nose of the plane tilt up and thud the plane made as it  touched the ground made me jump. Roar was the sound the plane made and then I was jolted forward by the breaks of the plane being engaged and I was in my new home. It was as if the landing joult was the last part of me leaving Colorado Springs behind, like being pulled from the bubble. Over the intercom the flight attendant said welcome to Los Angeles California and thank you for flying with us. I had no idea what to do next. I didn’t want to get left behind or lost so I followed the gentleman in front of me. I kept my head down as I followed his red tennis shoes and walked down the hall to baggage claim. I  waited for my bag to come up the ramp and onto the circle conveyor belt.  I couldn’t remember what my bag looked like, when I took my bag from my dad I  headed directly the ticketing desk, I totally missed to take a mental picture of it, and it didn’t help that my mom packed it for me so alI I could do was look for the one  bag that was the most familiar. Then I saw it riding down the conveyor belt right at me, It was a dark brown, square in shape with one handle at the top,  a big gold zipper that opened the top, and was covered in dust from rarely being used. It had set in our closet for years. I remembered playing hide and go seek and hiding behind it in the hallway closet, I reached over and pulled it off the luggage carousel and placed it to my side, it was time to wait.

The plan was for my aunt and uncle to pick me up from the airport.  I had only met them once when I was very young and I wasn’t sure I would recognize them. However family blood runs thick and the moment I saw my aunt I knew she was part of my family.  She and my mom shared the same eyes and the same smile, it was easy picking her out of the crowd.  I was welcomed with hugs.  My aunt and uncle were going to take me from the airport  to the bus station  where I would ride the greyhound to Santa Barbara.

It was late at night, well past 2 am when we got to  the bus station, but it didn’t seem to matter that it was late there were still people everywhere, waiting to go all over the United States, I thought that that was sort of cool. It was cold outside but nothing like the cold from back home.  The air wasn’t as harsh as Colorado’s cold nights.  My uncle purchased  me a ticket to Santa Barbara and hugs were once again given. Meeting my aunt and uncle was the easiest part of the whole trip. Maybe it was because we were family and I could feel the connection that I was with family.  I loaded onto the bus for another three hour trip. I knew immediately to keep my bag close to my body and to be aware of where my wallet was at all times. With my possessions close by I sat by the window and tried to look out into this new world, but it was too dark outside.  I had a lot on my mind and wondered about the last call that I got from my pregnant girlfriend. I never thought I would be a dad, well not at 15.  I thought at some point I would find a nice girl and we would get married, buy a house and then have a baby.  But that wasn’t how it was going to turn out for me. Why would I change now I never did things the normal way, why would this be any different?. Man I wasn’t ready to be anybody’s dad my head was so messed up I was scared I would screw them up more than I was. I was pissed that she wasn’t on the pill.   How did this happen? Did it mean that I had to marry her, I don’t even know if I love her.  All I could think of as soon as she said I’m pregnant was I don’t have any money, I don’t have a job and I’m getting kicked out of Colorado Springs. Are you keeping it, “Yes” she replied. It was crazy because she wasn’t any better off then I was. I didn’t want to be one of those guys that wasn’t around when his baby is born or a dad that wasn’t in the picture. But it looked like that was how it was going to turn out.

When I stepped off the bus and looked at my surroundings I could see the sun making it’s presence, the mark of a new start.  The sun reflected on the ocean, the light snuck up on the flowers and trees and eventually covered them with a warm blanket of light.  I stood up and took a deep breath of the morning air and felt oddly at peace with my life and my new home.  I fell in love with the view California had to offer .  It was stunningly beautiful.  The houses were different than back home.  They were red, orange, peach.  Colors I never knew homes to be.  They were adobe houses and I felt my attraction to them.  I could smell something fresh in the air.  I don’t know what it was that I could smell, but I knew I belonged there.  The ocean was beautiful, it called my name. California would be a new start.

 

Sergio

Sergio

The guy in the chair, who lost his ability to walk, but found his mobility through a change in his heart. A change when his mind was awakened by the gift of Purpose.
“And your life will be brighter than the noonday.
Its darkness will be like the morning.” Job11:17

Looks Like We Made It 1.4: Pregnant at 13

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Looks Like We Made It: Let’s Go Home 1.1

Please note that while we are sharing our memoir it is a work in progress.  The title “Looks Like We Made It” is a working title.  The words in the chapters are are also a work in progress.  This is not a final copy, but rather a chance to share our story.

Let's Go Home

Looks Like We Made It

Chapter 1.1

Sergio

I laid in my cell and stared out the square window from my bed. There was nothing to really stare at but the light posts illuminating the black asphalt. I watched as the wind blew an empty Big Gulp cup across the lot, until it slipped out of sight and into the unknown darkness. I was about to become that empty Big Gulp cup, I was to be flown far away from home, to land in a place that I had never seen before, empty. I wrapped myself tighter in the blanket as if maybe this would prevent me from being blown away. I didn’t want leave home, I didn’t want to make new friends. Why didn’t I tell the judge that I didn’t want to move?  Everyone was telling me that this was going to be good for me, that I needed a change, bull crap, they just didn’t want to have to deal with me anymore. This was as much for them as it was for me.

Why didn’t I run a different direction instead of trying to run through the parking lot of the mall. The cops were onto to me and knew the car I was driving was stolen. I thought if I could ditch the car I could out run them. I turned down a road so my friend and I could jump out and run. The car slammed into a big metal trash can and as I jumped out a loud voice told me get out with your hands up, my instinct was to get as far away as possible. I was close to my uncle’s house, if I could get there I could hide out. But I would have to cross the mall’s parking lot, it was too risky to try and go around. With my heart rate raising and my lungs trying to keep up with my running I stopped and hid under a tree until I could see the cops pass by, then I could make a break for the other side. I saw the lights turn to go around the side of the building and I darted out into the lot and ran as fast as I could go, behind me I could see a set of headlights turn my way and start to speed up in my direction. I was in the middle of the parking lot with nowhere to hide. In an instant I was surrounded by red and blue sirens. Busted. Get on the ground, get on your knees and put your hands in the air. At that moment I wondered how long my sentence to juvenile detention was going to be. It was my last night I would be able to walk around in Colorado Springs. I wouldn’t get a chance to tell anyone goodbye.

I had pushed the limits of the law and a long-term sentence was coming for me. I had been slapped on the wrist several times, but that was over. I was out of chances. I thought I would be sentenced to a juvenile detention center for at least a year. But my fate was different than I expected. I didn’t get another slap on the wrist but I didn’t get locked up either. Instead I was banished. My probation officer must have been on my side or he felt bad for me. He did everything in his power to allow me to move out of the state of Colorado and never to return. My parents took this plea and arranged for me to move to California with my oldest sister Angelica.

I was detained in Zebulon Pike before I could leave to California. I called my girlfriend to tell her I was leaving and didn’t think I was ever coming back. She had news of her own. I’m pregnant, the only words I remember her saying. The phone went cold against my ear and the chill spread throughout my body. I was in a situation I had no idea how to handle. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t help her. I was struggling to take care of myself. I was being sent away and there was nothing either of us could do. After the chill I began to warm up and I calmed, instantly heading into denial. The baby wasn’t mine, she had been with other guys, was she actually pregnant? I couldn’t care for her, or the baby even if it was mine. I never thought I was hurting anyone but myself. I thought I could handle the situations I put myself in and they only affected me. I was very wrong. I was leaving behind a trail of broken hearts and broken promises.

The only light in my cell came from the window facing the parking lot and underneath my door. When my cell became slightly darker I knew it was because the guard was standing in front of my door. I heard the metal key being inserted into the lock of the door as it was being turned. It was an odd time for the guard to be letting me out. He was brief with his words and they should have sounded like freedom

“Mr Sanchez get your stuff, it’s time.” He said, but it wasn’t quite freedom, it was the start to an unknown life.   

It was so late at night I felt like he was sneaking me out, but it was so there wasn’t a big ruckus from the other youth. I was guided to the staff work station to get my personal belongings but before I was given my clothes I had to sign a form stating that all my stuff was there. One black muscle shirt, one grey hoodie sweater, one black pair of jeans, and one set of white shoes. Sign here and get dressed your mom is waiting to take you. As soon as I was ready the guard lead me to the front door where I could see my mom on the other side waiting, BUZZ as soon as I heard the door unlock I pushed it and walked through letting the door slamm behind me. My mom greeted me with a half smile and together we walked down the long hallway to the last door that had to be buzzed to open. As soon as my face touched the cool air of the night I felt an unusual chill come over me.

I could see my mom’s car, a fire engine red Ford Taurus sitting in the parking lot. I knew my dad had to be in the car by the exhaust coming out of the back tail pipes. I got in the back seat and no one said much except for my mom telling me my flight plans. You will fly to Los Angeles and your aunt will pick you up and take you to the bus station to Santa Barbara where your sister will be waiting for you. I stared out the window the rest of the drive to the airport. I was trying to grab one last image of the town, the place that I called home. The drive was normally thirty to forty minutes long but this night it seemed like it was more of a five to ten minute drive. I read the road sign exit to I-25 next right and when I heard the blinker come on I felt a pressure coming from deep inside my chest. I could hear my heart pumping every time the blinker sounded, if I wanted to stay this was my last chance to open my mouth and say something.  I needed to convince my mom that I could change my bad ways and start listening, I would have to convince her that I would stay away from my friends. But nothing would come out of my mouth. There wasn’t anything I could think of that I hadn’t said before and failed at. Mom please don’t make me go! I looked out the window trying to figure out what to say, the sign that read Airport 2 miles hit me in the face, come on Sergio think of something to say. I had to change my mom’s mind, that’s the only way this car would turn toward home. My mom was the leader of our family, she carried the weight of making sure we had food, clothes and shelter. Even if it meant that she had to work two jobs and that she went without. Her past had conditioned her to work hard and provide. She taught her kids there wasn’t any room for wishing or hoping, if you wanted to make something happen in your life you made it happen with hard work and sacrifice. There was no room for showing love by hugs and kisses she showed it by providing. But in that moment I didn’t want a strong mother, I wanted my mom to stop the car, pull me out of it and give me a hug and kiss and tell me let’s go home.

 

 

 

Sergio

Sergio

The guy in the chair, who lost his ability to walk, but found his mobility through a change in his heart. A change when his mind was awakened by the gift of Purpose.
“And your life will be brighter than the noonday.
Its darkness will be like the morning.” Job11:17

Looks Like We Made It 1.4: Pregnant at 13

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We Are Meant to Change

We’ve reached the time of the year when we are encouraged to take stock of life and be thankful. This isn’t difficult for me, all that is required is that I open my eyes and look around. I have a wife that respects me and shows me how much she loves me.  I still get  to see my kids open up their eyes to the start of a new day. I wake up to the shelter that my wife and I have built for our family, to protect us from the elements. I don’t go hungry and I have the things in life that help make it easier to live, like transportation, clothes, and a job.

Is this what it’s supposed to look like, Is this how it’s supposed to sound? I would have to say yes, only if all I gave you was the fast version or the upper level of my story.

I am thankful for the things that I can see surrounding me everyday. What I have mentioned is only the reflection of my thankfulness the true meaning comes from the journey, putting one foot in front of the other or in my case one push after the other of my wheels and how it’s gotten me here by remembering the obstacles that formed my foundation.

I was reminded of how I got here  after Halloween, when I visited a gentleman in a nursing home, that was recovering from a gunshot wound that took his ability to walk. Somehow by just passing through the front doors of the home, I found myself catapulted back to age 18 again being in the exact same position trapped to my bed staring at the ceiling with nothing but my thoughts, wondering what my future was going to be like, why did I live, and how was I going to live in a wheelchair?  I was scared, angry, and confused all at the same time. This was like having a black curtain surrounded around my bed preventing anything positive light from coming in. I felt as if i was coming to visit myself today.

I was visiting to lend support and to help answer any questions that there could be about being in a wheelchair. But at this moment I was the one that felt as if I needed the support.

Entering the room and seeing the bed with the metal bars on the side instantly sent a chill up my spine, these were there to prevent me from falling out of bed as if I i was an infant again. I entered the room and the man staring back at me wasn’t myself but instead someone going though what I have been though.   His expression was the same look I see in my daughter Gese’s 9 year old eyes when I come home from a business trip. He was glad to see me and he had a lot of questions. Questions that only I or someone in a wheelchair could answer. He wanted me to share the secret to how to live a fulfilled life in a chair. He wanted to know what needed to be done to achieve his life back. But he stopped me before I could say too much and he told me that he didn’t want to offend me but he didn’t want to hear about God. I was 100% ok with this, I wasn’t here to tell him about God, I was here to show him about God. In that instance I felt the light break through the black curtain in the room. Instantly I was propelled back to reality, I was not that young man any longer and I had to remember that sometimes the things we can’t change are meant to change us!

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, For his compassion never fails”  Lamentations 3:22

So what am I thankful for, I’m thankful for the journey that the Lord put me on so I could learn to live a new life and so I could experience what life was meant to be.  I am thankful that I am a changed man.  

What are you thankful for ?

Sergio

Sergio

The guy in the chair, who lost his ability to walk, but found his mobility through a change in his heart. A change when his mind was awakened by the gift of Purpose.
“And your life will be brighter than the noonday.
Its darkness will be like the morning.” Job11:17

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Looks Like We Made It: Looking For Home 1.2

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Ain’t Too Proud To Beg

Sergio

Sergio

The guy in the chair, who lost his ability to walk, but found his mobility through a change in his heart. A change when his mind was awakened by the gift of Purpose.
“And your life will be brighter than the noonday.
Its darkness will be like the morning.” Job11:17

Looks Like We Made It 1.4: Pregnant at 13

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Looks Like We Made It: Looking For Home 1.2

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The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule

 

Labor Day weekend of 2016 will be etched in my memory for the rest of my life. This Labor Day weekend I didn’t find myself getting up early to roll around the yard, picking up foreign objects that had blown in or pears that had fallen from the tree. I didn’t have a plastic bag crammed between my legs to hold the unwanted treasures that I usually found. No yard work this weekend, we had different plans. Instead doing yard beautification projects we decided to make a road trip.

 

This trip wasn’t one of those out of the blue let’s just go and do something moments that we’re famous for. The planning started about 3 months ago with a surprise phone call that had me on the receiving end.

 

“Hello, Sergio do you know who this is?”

 

Instantly I knew and without even thinking twice I responded, “Yes, Tina how are you? I’ve been looking for you.”

 

“So have I mijo I’ve been looking everywhere for you. I didn’t know if I was ever going to hear your voice again. “

 

Tina, Allen’s mom was the voice on the other end of the call.  I instantly thought of Allen and our friendship from 24 years ago.

 

I still see him in my thoughts, smiling at me and giving me the look that tells me everything’s going to be alright bro I’m in a good place and don’t worry about the past. This was the kind of guy he was, the type that would give you the shirt off of his back and not expect anything in return. I wanted so badly to put in a CD of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and jam out with him, crack jokes about whatever came to our minds.  Back then, there weren’t many people in the world that I felt that I could be myself around, he was one of the few. Suddenly I had this aching desire to hang out like we did back in the day.

 

“Wow how did you find me, how did you get my phone number?”

 

Tina started to giggle, “I was talking with my brother about wanting to find you and your family and he just looked at me and said Google him, and I found you. I got to see you and your family on your website, you have a beautiful family mijo. I’m so happy to see that you are doing good, I’m so proud of you, it looks like you’re in a good place.”

 

“Yes, God has been good to me he has filled my life with many unbelievable gifts. I am no longer lost in regret, guilt, and sadness of the past.” As soon as these words came out of my mouth I felt like I fell into my memories, remembering how hard it’s been to make sense of why my life was spared and why my friend Allen’s was not.

 

I get the guilty feeling inside again, because the night that I was shot I believe that if had I kept my mouth shut and turned away, things would have been different not only for me but for Allen and his family. It seems unfair that I lived because even though I will never walk again I can still see my family. Allen would never make it back home safe to his.

 

I imagine what his last thought was. Was he thinking of his mom and dad worrying about where he was and the dangerous position he found himself? Or how to get out of the way of the bullets zipping past him? Did he see me get shot and was he scared?

 

Instantly Tina’s voice brings me back to reality as she tells me “Mijo I’m very proud of you.”

 

I tell her that I now have a purpose, I was saved to be able to share the tragic events that happened in my life so that others could witness God’s great works and how He changes lives. This is my purpose and my everyday drive.

 

“Sergio I miss you I want you to come and visit me Mijo I want you to bring your family so I can meet them and they can meet my son Jonathan.”

 

Instead of Labor Day weekend being about a barbecue with friends and family or a home improvement project it became a reunion of reconnecting with a missing part of my life. Until I received  that phone call, I had no clue of the gap that I had in my heart until I heard Tina’s voice say” Mijo I’ve been looking for you ”.

 

It had been a long time since I revisited the night I was shot and how it affected so many lives. It’s been a long time since I said Allen’s name without it being part of one of my public talks. The feeling of remorse still hits me right in the gut, with the thought of Allen not being here and the pain that I created that night because I couldn’t just walk way. All I can think about is why Tina would want me anywhere close to her or her family. I’m the reason Allen is not here, if I just would have never opened my mouth.

 

I will always have physical scars that the world can see but the scars that can not be seen are harder to heal from.  This weekend will become a renewing of the heart project.

 

As Norah, Ashley, and I start the 8 hour drive to Tina’s home, I start to feel the anxiety filling my body.  All I can think about is how does Tina look now?  I wonder what Leo thinks of me making the trip to go visit he and his family?  What does their youngest son Jonathan think of the gu in the wheelchair visiting with his family?  Even though I’m anxious I’m still really excited

 

I feel like I should roll down the window and scream Tina here we come.

 

The long drive will be good for me it’ll help me get my thoughts together. We don’t get far out of Yuma before I feel a smile build on my face and I start thinking that God’s hands wrote this chapter of my life, he’s orchestrating all of this, and Allen’s at his side smiling. He’s telling us it is time for the healing to start. There is nothing more powerful than seeing God’s awesome beauty is on display outside of our windows as we drive through the mountains. Hearing the sound of the running water flowing alongside the road and smelling the air filled with the scent of fresh pine coming from the Douglas fir, Cottonwoods, and the Aspen trees. Being so high up in the Rocky mountains makes me feel as if I could roll down the window and touch the clouds.

 

After 8 hours of driving through God’s country we pulled into Tina’s driveway and I instantly realized that she looks the exact same as I remembered her.  She still has the same short hair dark hair just a little lighter, and her smile is as bright as ever. I could tell she was very excited to see us, it’s been a long time since we were together; I was a kid back then trying to figure out life and what the future was going to bring. The anxious feeling I had all the way there didn’t take long to pass once Tina came around to where I was sitting. I had to move the steering wheel up so I could turn my legs to hug her. I could feel Allen’s presence because I felt just as comfortable being with his mom as I did with him. I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. It was an amazing feeling, I never thought this day would really come. Sitting across the couch and going through old scrapbooks, news paper clippings and reading poems of Allen was something I didn’t realize I needed. It felt like therapy for all of us, it’s good to talk about the past, it helps lighten the load for the journey in front of us.

 

While all of this was happening I glanced over to my wife and started to think, our lives were not supposed to turn out the way they had. The odds were always against us. I wanted Tina and Leo to see that I didn’t waste my second chance and that I was trying to do the right thing as a husband and a father. I try to be a positive influence to anyone that I come in contact with, I try to keep Allen’s memory strong in my life.

 

My past has taught me not to complain and to work hard, I don’t blame anyone for my failures, instead I work to learn from my mistakes. I relinquish all the control to God knowing that through Him I will be strengthened.

 

In going through memories of Allen we came across an essay he had written in school. It was titled The Golden Rule.  Tina and Leo taught their son to live by Golden Rule, and he kept true to that saying while he was my friend.

 “Do Unto Others As You Want Them To Do To You”

 

I’m going to make a commitment to live my life by the same rule and I encourage everyone to do the same.  To Keep Rolling On!!!
Thank you Leo, Tina, and Jonathan for a wonderful experience with my family!

 

 

Sergio

Sergio

The guy in the chair, who lost his ability to walk, but found his mobility through a change in his heart. A change when his mind was awakened by the gift of Purpose.
“And your life will be brighter than the noonday.
Its darkness will be like the morning.” Job11:17

A photo posted by @thewheelsofgrace on

We share our stories not so you know what we've been through, but so you're not afraid to share your own. Tell us, what's your story?

Posted by The Wheels of Grace on Monday, February 22, 2016

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