Monday, August 3, 2009

One Steps Forward, Two Step Back (3)

Months later after the terrible incident, Mauricia continued her daily routine of teaching Sunday lecture and attending music class. Within time she started to worry she would have to make a decision about what she was going to do. She feared once Gertrudes figured out she was pregnant she would surely kick her out of the house. The thought of getting rid of her baby never crossed Mauricia's mind. She felt compelled to take care of it, and she knew in her heart it was not the child's fault it was coming into the world.

Mauricia had to resign from her lectures and classes. Instead of telling Gertrudes about the changes, Mauricia continued to leave the house to take extra jobs and earn money to save for the baby. Mauricia washed, ironed, mended, and cleaned out houses. She did whatever she could to collect as much money for the moment Gertrudes would kick her out. When Mauricia made it home one night Gertrudes was waiting in the parlor and asked Mauricia to see her. Gertrudes told Mauricia "my friend, Carmen, told me you have been seen doing extra work for people in town. Is this true?" Mauricia said "yes", and decided to tell Gertrudes the truth. She was four months pregnant. Gertrudes responded, "Well you know what this means, don't you? I should have known you would end up like your mother." As tears ran down Mauricia's face, she couldn't hold back her anger. Mauricia ran to the servant's quarters to get her items which had been ready for this moment. She grabbed her rosary, bible, and few family photos she had found and taken from Gertrudes's belongings. Mauricia ran out and told her "I may be pregnant but at least I know how to love, and I'm not an evil hearted person like you! I pray you don't die alone and someone at least cares enough to take care of you like I did!"

Mauricia ran out of Gertrudes's house clutching her bible and rosary while carrying her bag. Inside the bible were the photos she had found. One of the photos had a description on the back indicating it was her aunt Cipriana and her late mother, along with Cipriana's address in Tampico, Mexico. Mauricia said, "I have to leave! I cannot stay here anymore and be reminded of my pain, I can't!" She decided to try her luck elsewhere and find her aunt Cipriana and see what life held in store for her. Mauricia purchased a ticket for the next train to Tampico and left.

Upon arriving in Tampico, Mauricia found her aunt Cipriana's home and knocked on the door. "Hello! Hello! Hello!" someone yelled from afar. Mauricia waited and again knocked. "Hello! Hello! Hello!" again someone yelled. Suddenly, the door cracked open and she saw a wrinkly old man peer through the crack with a large grin. "Sorry, I can't buy anything, the wife will get mad!" then proceeded to close the door. Mauricia held it open and said "please! I'm looking for Cipriana, does she live here?" The old man laughed and said "Yes, Cipriana lives here, hold on." The door gets slammed shut, and Mauricia is left wondering if he is working with a full set of marbles or just decided not to assist her. As Mauricia goes to knock again, the door opens up, and there stands a short, slender, older woman, with her gray hair all wrapped up in a neat bun. "Can I help you?" she asks. "Yes, my name is Mauricia Delgado and I believe your my aunt Cipriana." Mauricia began to tell her about her journey to find her and her pregnancy. Cipriana proceeded to tell Mauricia "Well, I don't see any problem with you living with us. I need help with my husband, Benjamin, he's a little crazy in his old age, and watching him and taking care of a house is difficult enough."

Mauricia was much happier with Cipriana who later introduced her to other relatives on her father's side that she had never met. Everyone in the family was either a butcher or worked in the mines. When Cipriana left to work in the family meat market, Mauricia had to tend to the house and make sure Benjamin was taken care of. Mauricia did not receive wages for doing her job, she was promised a place to sleep and eat and that was it.

Benjamin was a happy fellow who kept to himself and liked to doodle on paper and whittle wood. While Mauricia would clean the house Benjamin would talk to Mauricia about different topics from politics, witches, and other stories he repeated from time to time. Mauricia had to make sure the door was locked as he liked to walk outside and wander but nine months into her pregnancy Mauricia could not keep up with him.

Fall came around and so did Teresa Delgado. She was Mauricia's pride and joy and with her came a renewed sense of hope to live. During the time Mauricia gave birth, Benjamin became very ill and passed away, leaving Cipriana alone. Mauricia continued to care for the house but within time Cipriana asked her to work in the meat market with her and bring Teresa along. Working at the meat market was very hard, she learned to gut pigs, chickens, and ducks. Cipriana could not keep up with this work and Mauricia could tell she was beginning to feel more tired each day.

One day while walking home, after working at the meat market, Cipriana mentioned to Mauricia about moving to Pinos, Mexico, where she was born. Mauricia thought long and hard as she would have to return to the place she ran away from. Cipriana assured her she would not be alone and her cousins were moving with them to open a family market there. Mauricia agreed as long as they stayed on the other side of town away from her terrible memories. Everyone packed their belongings and sold the house. Cipriana felt more at ease going back to her birthplace as she felt she didn't have much more time on this earth.

Pinos looked the same after being away two years. There were new buildings here and there but at least there were more people than before. The first thing Mauricia needed to do was go to the church and pray. Mauricia took Teresa as she wanted the priest to give her a blessing too. Before entering the church, Mauricia let Teresa play by the fountain. Teresa watched the water trickling off the sides and splashing bits of water on her little face. Teresa giggled as she enjoyed the water and it provided relief from the hot sun. Mauricia could not help but feel like she was being watched. She turned around and a gentleman by the front of the church turns around and looks the other way. She scoops up Teresa and hurries her way into the church for service. Once service is over, she gets the priest to give Teresa a blessing and they proceed to go home. The same gentleman from the front door attended service and she caught his glimpse again but this time he smiled. She recognized him, but from where? Mauricia begins to think and remembers he was a suitor that had asked her out for a walk a long time ago. His name is Francisco Alvarez, now she remembered! Mauricia thought, "Oh well, that was a long time ago and he's not as blind to see I now have a child."

Mauricia and Teresa were patiently waiting while everyone exited the church when she felt a tap on her shoulder. Mauricia turns around to see Francisco smiling and said, "I haven't seen you in ages, how have you been?" "I'm fine, thank you." Mauricia responded curtly. "This is my daughter Teresa." Francisco didn't budge, "Your daughter is very cute, your husband must be very proud." "I'm very proud, her father is not around, and your being nosy." Mauricia answered. As soon as she saw an open area, Mauricia squeezed her way through and disappeared through the crowd leaving Francisco just shaking his head.


  1. I am really enjoying this blog. Each day I read it I am more and more absorbed by your Grandmother's story. Please keep telling her story. I know there are so many people like me that can relate to her and the struggles that she went threw. Thank you for sharing her story.

  2. Very nice and informative blog you have here. Good work! And I followed you to keep up with your post.

    See you around my friend.

    Steinar Arason
    "Improve Your Blog"

  3. "Teresa" What a beautiful name!! Good reading - love the writing too!