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I have asserted as I prepared to write this diary that memories in human brains are not equal, or the same when measuring how far back a memory can take us. As an example, my wife does not remember the name of our first dog that I brought home when we got married 38 years ago. I on the other hand not only remember Taco, a name I gave the stray mutt I found wandering in heavy car traffic. I also remember the sunny day that Sunday. I have pondered that mystery due to my own mental capacity to travel back into the future. However, no amount of brow beating or soul searching has ever allowed my memory to travel back to a certain point in time in my life to remember what I left behind. Anything that had transpired in the young life of a boy who is the main character to this story that remained outside of a tall white fence. Please follow me below to read the first installment to this diary.

I was four or five years old when I was taken to live with my Grandmother in San Antonio, Texas. My mother led me down a dirt path that served as a sidewalk towards what seemed like a hundred steps that I climbed to reach a high porch. I was terrified and obviously crying because I knew that I would have to be living here with strange people. My mother told me that my granny would look out for me, and that she would come back for me later. It was early morning, terrible hot Texas weather and my whole body was drenched in sweat. I wore short raggedy pants and no shirt or shoes. I was starving and crying for something to eat. My mother kept telling me that granny would feed me, that the Great Depression was this, and the Great Depression was that. I did not understand. All I knew that I was very hungry.

No one answered the knock on the door and my mother knocked harder. I asked my mother why we came here. I gazed across the wide yard towards a high tall fence as I stood on that high porch because I suddenly realized that I was inside a yard and did not know what was on the other side or where I had come from. I do not even recall walking through the fence gate to enter the yard. For a boy my age at that time everything to me looked so big. The fence was a mental block in my mind that did not allow me to remember where I came from, or what it was that existed out there. There was no yesterday as I stood there searching in my head.

My thought was interrupted by the sound of my mother`s hard pounding on the door. This time the door opened slightly by a girl not much older than me and peeked at us. Her eyes glanced briefly at my mother as she switched over to look at me with a surprised expression as I was now clinging to my mother with both hands. "Maw", the girl yelled, rolling her eyes and turning towards the dark room behind her as she slammed the door shut. This skinny looking girl was Amelia. My Aunt and my mother`s youngest sister. My mother pulled nervously at a scarf that for some reason covered her head in such a hot morning. She adjusted her dark eye glasses as the door opened wide. I was taken aback the first time I laid eyes on my grandmother. She stood there in total silence for what felt like several minutes, just staring at my mother with a look that I have never forgotten. A look of total dislike, repulsion and distaste. Her face was a mask of wrinkles and had streaks of loose white hair across her lips as she unleashed her anger at my mother.

"From under what rock did you crawl out of?" she hissed at my mother. "I warned
you never to set foot in this house or this family", she yelled directing her anger at
me at the same time. That exchange was enough to set me off. I started to wail out
of control and that only infuriated my granny more. "Your father is sleeping, make this brat shut his mouth before I slap him" the old woman threatened me.  "Mother please, just give him something to eat and he will stop crying, he hasn`t eaten anything since yesterday" my Mom pleaded. Somehow the old woman might have thought it was the only way to shut me up.

"Amelia!", the old woman called. "Take this boy and give him a tortilla and some water", as Amelia had been standing by and she immediately pulled me inside. After a short walk into the dark house I could hear some arguing on the porch, then all was quiet. I soon discovered that my mother had gone out of my life. I was left behind and abandoned at a place that would turn out to be the beginning of my life as I now remember it. This is a story of my life, place and people that fate so generously gave me where its destiny would mold me to endure tremendous odds and survive in a jungle of horrors.

You may continue reading here

Originally posted to Ole Texan on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 09:00 AM PST.

Also republished by TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans and Community Spotlight.

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