Thanksgiving Revelations

The Best Thanksgiving…being with family
The infamous picture of Sonja in her bathing suit and cowboy boots

This Thanksgiving we gathered with just our immediate family of ten. We each shared different stories from our past. I asked Mikos if he remembered the summers of his youth when we allowed him to attend summer camps. Sonja chimed in and said, “I did not appear in family photos until I was around four-years-old.” She went on to say that the only picture I have of her as a child was camping. Believe me, that picture is unforgettable because she was wearing a bathing suit with cowboy boots. Of course that was not a true statement because I have a lot of pictures of her, and I can prove it.

Weird Public Service Announcements

If Mikos has an incomplete baby book, you can guess how bad Sonja’s was. First of all, I can’t find it, so in a way she could be telling a half-truth. Back in the early 80’s there were a lot of public service announcements about child molestations. This type of news consumed my mind. For some unusual reason Mikos was never a concern when it came to this. But Sonja, on the other hand, was going to be protected from this evil. The commercials made me feel so uncomfortable because they warned that it could be a close friend or family member. Well, that was it for me! Sonja would remain by my side until she went away to college. Very seldom did I allow her to spend the night at a sleepover. First of all, sleepovers were unheard of in my childhood; only cousins would sleep over, never friends. When she would ask, I’d simply tell her that she was too young. When she got older, well, that, too, was a no brainer! My answer was, “You’re too old.” I drove Sonja to and from school from the time she was in kindergarten until she could drive herself.  All of the schools, elementary, middle, and high school, were less than a mile from our home. Mikos started walking to school in the seventh grade. His routine was meeting his friends at Wayne’s Liquor store to stock up on junk food before school. This didn’t bother me a bit because he was a boy!


Sonja’s freedom…my old car


When Sonja turned 16 she inherited my old car. Before she got the car, it had been turned into a company car. That vehicle had been stolen and stripped, but we were able to buy it back from salvage for $700. It was not the ideal car, but to Sonja it was her ticket to freedom. My hovering over her came to a quick end. There were no cell phones during those years. So Sonja’s strategy to gain independence was to stay clear of me. The only thing left for me to do was snoop in her room to find notes to try to figure out what she was up to.

My Mother, Myself

Being raised by a single mom was the worst because we were four girls and our mother was going to make sure that we behaved like perfect ladies. Dating was so difficult because our three brothers always convinced our mother that we were up to no good. How could we be up to no good if we just stayed home? Now I see how much of my own mother’s ways were surfacing and affecting how I was raising Sonja and Mikos. My brothers did as they pleased; at times they were reckless, but there were never any real consequences for their behavior. While Mikos was living the life, poor Sonja became my obsession. Without realizing it, I had become my mother. In my eyes, even as a young married woman, my mother’s voice was always in my ear. In many ways this helped me become strong; but in other ways it was a hindrance because I could not understand who I was as a mother or a wife. I do not attribute this dysfunction to my mother, nor do I blame her. I was immature and too dependent on outside influences to guide my wayward path. Not until my late-thirties did I start to find my way to Christ. My mother was a saint who, despite all obstacles, did a wonderful job in bringing up seven children on her own. She never once received government assistance because she knew how this was frowned upon by others.

Parting My Own Red Sea

When I started my journey, I realized that my calling was uncompromising. The more I grew closer to God, the more dependent I became on Him. I quickly disrobed from the feminist garb and understood what my role was as a wife. This new demeanor brought Mike into a greater appreciation of his role as the head of our household. My knowledge of God also lead me to seek and undergo several years of therapy. I am a great proponent of this type of help but, most importantly, the therapist must be a God-fearing believer. No one in my entire family had sought the help of a therapist. Culturally this was shocking to my mother. During this time I received a great revelation from God and a new direction for my political stance. Much to my mother’s chagrin, I left the liberal Democratic party behind to seek the truth. The guilt attached to my exodus was a constant reminder of betraying my Mexican heritage; my new-found politics was a delicate matter. Culture is a difficult bridge to cross but, when you get to the other side, you can decide for yourself and not be influenced by guilt.  You do not have to remain a Democrat just because you were brought up believing that that was the best party because of your heritage.

Sonja was finally freed from my octopus-like, loving arms…but not for long. I would once again interfere in her life because I felt that it was my responsibility to find her a suitable husband. You can read about this ridiculous period of my life in a previous Blog entitled “And God Said…Mind Your Own Bees Wax.”

Praying For Our Loved Ones

I prayed for our son to get accepted into Westmont College because I felt that he needed more spiritual guidance. Mikos had applied to several secular colleges, but God had other plans. Westmont is where he met our beautiful daughter-in-law Jenny.

As I get older all that is left for me to do is to love our children and pray for them. I pray for all of my grandchildren on a daily basis. On Thanksgiving Day our granddaughter Maddie announced that she would be attending a Christian college in Arizona. This was a wonderful praise report and an answer to my prayers.

My Prayer

Dear Lord, thank You for all You have done in our lives. I give You the glory for always shedding light on all my difficult situations. I pray for those who are in the valley of decision with important matters in their lives. Guide them to make right choices, and teach them more about Your love. Amen.

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