Journey to Success

November 8, 2007
By Alvaro Salgado, Houston, TX

This story starts in a little pueblo located in the northeastern part of Mexico; this pueblito is called Canoas, in the state of Nuevo Leon. At that time, there were only few families living in this little town. Out of those few families, there was one that was known for their work ethic. The head of the family, Ramiro, was a very hard-working and respected man. The mother, Maria, devoted her entire life taking good care of her family in a loving way. The fruits of this adorable couple were seven children who had been taught to be respectful and productive people. Even though some of the children were still little, they had assimilated that a good education was the key to success.
Unfortunately, financial circumstances did not allow the members of this family to obtain the precious university education. And here is where their story of perseverance begins, because they would not permit this obstacle defeat them easily. In fact, if I had to describe my family, the word that I would use would be persistent. However, financial difficulties were not the only barrier on the way to success. Confronting the loss of one of their children was not easy for this young couple. Facing the fact of having one of the other children severely sick was not easy for my grandparents. Even so, this couple determined to raise successful children in spite of the circumstances.
Five children had already been born to this loving couple and on a certain day good news was revealed to this couple. Maria, the princess of this household was pregnant once again. After nine months of difficult pregnancy, a weak and fragile girl was born. They decided to name her Mirtala. The difficult pregnancy my grandmother had had was just a preamble of what was about to occur during the short life of little Mirtala. Since her birth, doctors were not very optimistic about Mirtala’s health. They diagnosed her with a severe liver problem, which back in those days was almost incurable. By this time, the young couple started wondering, “What did we do wrong? What we did to deserve this?”
Seeing this situation, Ramiro, my grandfather, decided to work even harder. Driving trucks for hours and hours and getting paid little wages was not easy at all. Having abusive bosses and being far from his home was not easy, either. Sometimes my grandmother, Maria, would say desperately to herself, “I need you to be her, Ramiro, I really need your help,” but my grandfather had to work hard to finance the expenses of having a sick child. Time was passing by, and Mirtala was growing up, but her health did not improve. When little Mirtala was about 5 years old, a newborn arrived to this house, curing in a certain way the pain of having dear sick Mirtala. Pregnancy proceeded normally, and finally the seventh child returned happiness to this family. Ramiro was the name of the newborn. Everything seemed to be normal in this child, and finally for a certain period of time Mirtala’s health seemed to be improving. But unfortunately bad news would hit this family once again.
It happened to be that when Ramiro was 5 years old doctors diagnosed him with poliomyelitis, which is a severe disease that affects the muscular and circulatory systems. Inevitably, the unwanted and unexpected words came out of the doctor’s mouth, “your son will be disabled for the rest of his life.” These words simply destroyed my grandmother, “Why at this age?” asked Maria. “He is only five,” she would murmur. Now the whole family had to face the reality of having two innocent children succumb to illness.
When Mirtala was 8 years old, she died after fighting this horrible illness until the end. Pain invaded this family. Now they had to accept the death of one of their children. And also they had to confront the fact of having a disabled kid, disability was not the problem, age was.
After having struggled for long time, and having all their children out of school due to financial circumstances, the last child of this family was born, his name was Gerardo, and he was the hope of the family. Now, after having suffered so much, this family worked as a team to accomplish their dreams. Before, university education was an unattainable dream, but now, at last, education was possible because my grandfather had worked hard and saved money to send their children to university. Time passed by, and the result of the hard work was seven productive thankful and productive children who worked to accomplish their dreams and to make their parents proud. They really wanted to compensate their parents for all the work done for them. But out of these seven children, Gerardo, the youngest, seemed to have a more brilliant future. He had gone even farther in his academic life, but it had not been easy. Having to ride the bus early morning for 2 hours every day was not easy. Having to survive the cold mornings of winter and those intolerable hot days of summer was unenviable. He had to work like a slave to get his precious university education. Having his degree paid many benefits. Now, he holds an important position in a very recognized in Mexico. He is also happily married to a good girl who recently got pregnant for the first time. I know that all of this makes my grandparents proud, but not only that, but their children make them proud, too. My grandparents persevered through poverty, illness of children, and hard work. But their perseverance paved the way for having a loving and thankful family who loves them so much.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!