I remember the last day I saw my father

By Ashley Quinones  |   From : Puerto Rico  |   School : Vineland High School

I remember when I was about 4 or 5 years old something happened in my life that changed it forever. I lived in Ponce, Puerto Rico with my mom and my dad. I remember one day my father came home and he was with us until noon. That was the last day I saw my father. I remember the last thing he did before he left was, he gave me and my siblings one dollar, like that was what we were worth. That’s the only memory I have of him. I remember a couple weeks later my mom left Puerto Rico with my older brother, leaving the rest of us behind with my grandmother.

When I was with my grandma, I went through a lot of hard times. For example, my siblings and I didn’t eat most of the time. We would only drink coffee and eat bread in the morning and rice in the evening, and we all slept in one room and one bed. I remember we were bullied by our own family. My aunts would tell us that my mom was never coming back, that she left me just like my father did.  My aunts and uncles sometimes left me and my brothers and sisters without food. A year had passed and my mom came back for me, my little sister, and my other brother to bring us to the U.S. When we arrived to the U.S. I developed a lot of problems. I had to go to a therapist for anger management. I had to go to the pediatrician for daily check-ups to check on my health, because I was very skinny and short for my age. I remember when I first started school, I was bullied due to my height and my weight.

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