…Others were those responsible for my upbringing.
It takes a village to raise a kid was pretty much the mentality my family held. Grandparents and a single mother, aunts and uncles – these are the people who provided me with the books I loved, the rides to school, the encouragement to follow through my dreams. And while they each play an essential role to the person I would become, I cannot acknowledge them all in one post. It might take several posts – each of their own – to fully show my appreciation.
At an early age, my father walked out of my life. This included the typical “special appearances” throughout my life in some half-assed attempt to be part of it. The only father figures I had were my grandfathers. My maternal grandfather, from which I take my name, tended the fields, pulling his family throughout the state in the means of work. You may not know the name Guillermo Pequeño, but back in the 60’s he was responsible for growing one of the first bales of cotton for the city of Donna, TX. Meanwhile, my paternal grandfather opened the Corona Shoe Repair shop, which still operates to this day, under the management of my uncle. I bear both their names and heed to their message of hard work, work that means something.
Both male figures in my life were taken from me three years apart. I was in the third grade when my maternal grandfather and in the sixth grade, my paternal grandfather suffered a fatal stroke. I sought paternal figures in my teachers, in the heroes of the books I loved so dearly. And in the women that continued to raise me.
My maternal grandmother and my mother are true feminists, despite their not knowing it. And while they both subscribe to old ideas of a woman’s place, they also lived the life of women who knew when it was time to take charge of a situation. Until her death my ninth grade year, my grandmother was devoted to her gardening. She taught me that no matter what life threw at you, you kept going. Even with sutures in her throat, she focused on the only task that kept her busy. She knew no down time other than sleep and moments when her age caught up with her.
My mother, very much like her’s, never knows when to give up. From an abusive husband to raising three sons on her own, she never crumbled under pressure. My mother was very much like a real parent, allowing me to make my mistakes without too many restrictions. She guided me when I needed it, but left matters into my own hands – ever ready in the sidelines to help pick up the pieces if I should ever fall. She supplied the books on my shelf, the paper and notebooks, pens and pencils, typewriters and computer that I need to start my first thoughts. She collected every article I published, every letter I wrote, every magazine that featured my name.