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Marissa Rivera

By , Philadelphia, PA
I am Marissa Rivera, A Puerto Rican American women from the island of Puerto Rico, sixty years old and I also have many grandchildren and for that I feel truly blessed. I’m living better now because of decisions I made in the past. I have three boys and am both a mother and father to my kids. Growing up without a father is hard for anybody, but as a good mother I tried to make things less difficult for my kids. All boys and that’s exactly how I used to dream about it. At the age of twenty two me and my three boys moved from Puerto Rico to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and started our new lives here.


While starting our lives in the city, tough things never seemed to get better and the fact that I spoke broken English didn’t make anything easier. While my kids were growing up I knew my kids would speak good English because the city they were growing up in turned out that English became their first language even though they learned Spanish first. I could never understand that, just had to learn that that’s one of the city gives the children. Though language change from the city was to blame for my children speaking mostly English, the city also gave whoever that let themselves be pulled into temptation that had nothing to offer other than a bad life, future, or maybe even death. Not long into their high school years my two oldest sons were pulled into the temptation of selling and using drugs, just a couple of things this unforgiving city can do to the youth. Soon my two oldest sons were behind bars and had most of their lives there even though they were extremely young. With my sons behind bars and not working we fell behind on rent had to give up the house and move out.


Finally behind on bills, going into dept I couldn’t pay off was the downfall in my life, I felt like I dug myself into a deep dark hole I couldn’t dig myself out of and felt like my oldest son being in jail was somehow my fault, sent me into a deep depressing. My life sparling out of control couldn’t take care of my youngest son. After I realized I wasn’t stable enough to take care of my youngest son I sent him to new York with his aunt till I got back on my feet, Only I didn’t as fast as I wanted to, instead I began abusing the prescription medicine and almost ended my life twice. Of course it hurt to know I was that selfish at one point but the pain was so overwhelming I couldn’t deal with the stressing and knowing that somehow my kids landing in jail, the father of my children leaving me, my home being taken away from me was all my fault. I thought this way for a long time, till I realized I had much to live for. My family doesn’t blame me for anything that we all went through, so why should I blame myself? After the doctor cleared me from clinical depression I was purposed to by the man that has been my husband over 25 years now and I never felt more in love. “No matter what things god puts in front of you, he himself put them there so it’s meant to happen!”



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