Kat’s Story and Why She Helps

We have been blessed by some regular “givers”. But, Kat does not only help our cause, she encourages the down-trodden and uplifts the oppressed in a thousand ways. She is an inspiration. We have the privilege of being able to share her personal testimony here at our blog. Thank you, Kat. Read why Kat helps spiritual widows and orphans and be edified:

My father left my mom when I was less than one month old. She says he left when I was literally at her breast. I have two older brothers 4 and 8 years ahead of me. Mom has an amazing life story. Adventurous, educated, humorous and friendly. She’d been a teacher off and on after meeting my dad and moving to El Paso, TX, to marry him. She’d been a TV producer in San Francisco.

Her story: my dad couldn’t keep a job.

His story: she was crazy.
My story: They’re both right.

So, my mom had to go to work and find someone to care for me. My brothers were in preschool and elementary school. I was the one with the greatest needs. Thankfully, we lived on the border when it was more open than it is now. My mom couldn’t have afforded much. but we lived in a nice middle class neighborhood, anyway. She fed us rice, pasta, corn flakes ad nauseum. My mother had been raised in Virginia during the Depression. She knew how to pinch pennies, even if she didn’t know how to cook.

Back in the seventies, people would cross the border to “shop” with shopping passes. The women would board busses and go to jobs cleaning houses. The men would wait for trucks to drive downtown and offer them jobs — mowing, roofing and yard work. These people were risking it all to put food on the table at home.
We went through several maids (they’d be called housekeepers/nannies now). They’d live at our house Mon-Sat am for a whopping $70 a week (standard pay at the time).

I don’t know the total headcount. I know my middle brother was fondled in the tub by one woman as a little boy. When he innocently recounted story, my mom packed the woman up and put her on the curb. It must have been many years . . . I remember being hit in the head with brushes when I’d cry while the tangles were being yanked from my head. Another woman locked me in her bedroom with a black and white TV showing Mexican soap operas.
I can only imagine the complete horror my mom felt when I recounted those scenes at the dinner table.

Then came the angel that saved my life. Maria. She was much older than my mom (who was 41 years my senior). Her hands smelled of hand cream. Her wrinkles were deep and smooth. She sang while she scrubbed and cleaned and told me how much God loved me. She laid on my bed with me until I fell asleep. I tiptoed past my mom’s bed when I had bad dreams and into hers. She spoke only Spanish; I spoke only English. She wouldn’t correct me. It wasn’t her place, she said. So, we had our own language. It was love. Pure love. she told me how God loved me and would always love me. How much she loved me.

I got to travel over the border with her, once, when I was about 10. She must have been 75. There I was with blonde pigtails riding the busses and vans down dirt roads holding the hands of MY Maria! My protector, my Angel.

You see, she knew what I didn’t fully comprehend until after she passed away: my mother was a sick, mean woman. Constantly under the care of a psychiatrist, yet she never really understood.
She was smart and charming. And had the tongue of a viper.

I was called “Selfish Bitch” from the time I was five. My mother withdrew her love when I was less than perfect, but never gave it to me even when I was. Her tongue cut me down daily. As she drove me to church, ballet, private music lessons, etc., I endured her disdain.

Oh, we looked good from the outside! She was a whiz with money. She could provide clothes and home for us. She had a good job. She made friends everywhere we went.

But at home….sick and full of hate.

Maria loved on me. Raised me. Told me where my worth was…in Christ alone. She had to leave her 6 children to take care of me and put food on their table. She knew struggle. She knew pain. But she knew a love that surpassed all of that.

My mother remarried when I was in second grade. Cold and indifferent, he only lasted 5 years. But he wore Maria out. She was uneasy with him. And she was getting old. She “retired” a few years into that marriage. I knew she worked tirelessly at home.

We wrote each other. Maria’s nieces and nephews would write for her and translate my letters for her. I found neighbors to translate hers.
My mothers verbal and emotional abuse never ceased. Still to this day, she is volatile and unsafe. She is now almost 82 years old. When struggling with dementia, my brothers and I found out her brothers had molested her. No wonder she was sick and mean!!

I forgive her. Anything else would eat me alive. And did for years and years. But, I guard my heart and my precious family. The generational sin stops HERE. NOW.

I will not allow her around me without a friend or my husband. I will not allow her in my home. She still can swear and cut down me or my family in the blink of an eye.

Maria. She is my mother. When she died, I went to her funeral. As a senior in high school, I got to weep with her children. In her cement-floored home with no bathroom, she was laid out in the most beautiful coffin. We cried and held hands and told stories. Her youngest told me how she’d resented me as a young girl because Maria would tell her that I needed her more as she left every Monday after only being home less than 48 hours. Weeping and holding each other, she said how she came to understand that my danger was real. And that her mother had a purpose…to love me and show me the love of Christ.

She gave all she had. Her love. And I choose to do the same.

I learned how not to be from my mom. My father was not a part of my life other than miserably awkward required visits that ended when I turned 18.

I learned to love; I learned to give; I learned to trust that God has a plan…even in the murkey waters of life….to show His love to us and through us.

Maria loved me when she had nothing. How much more can you ask of a person? That, my friend, is Christ.

There are so many out there who are hurt by husbands, boyfriends, mothers, fathers. We live in a fallen world. But that doesn’t mean we fall over. We rise up…praising God and sharing the love that he gives. For without it, I would be nothing.

The end.
Or…the middle or the beginning.

2 Replies to “Kat’s Story and Why She Helps”

  1. Thank you for strengthening me through your life and story. In heaven, we will hear many amazing stories and more clearly understand the whys of our lives. I look forward to that and one day meeting you there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *