Short Story from Oaxaca Valley
My dad was originally from Oaxaca, a graduated architect. My mom, who was a fashion designer, was originally from Mexico City, and met my dad when he was in college. They got married before he got his thesis done, at the same time he was working, so they hardly spent any time together. For two years, my parents lived in Mexico City, in a small apartment. Mom had two miscarriages before she had my brother Sergio, me and later my youngest brother Jose Luis.
My brother Sergio was born in Mexico City, while my parents were living there. After my brother Sergio was born, my dad decided to return to Oaxaca and be closer to his parents. My mom decided to have me in Mexico City because the medical conditions were much better there than in Oaxaca. So I was born in a private Hospital called: “Mosel”.
My parents brought me down to Oaxaca a month after I was born. Dad registered me as if I was born in Oaxaca. For him it was very important the place a person was from and this meant also the place you are born. During my childhood I used to tease him about this subject, I would tell everyone that I was from Mexico City, and I was proud of it!! He would tell me, “You are Oaxaquena!”
In July of 1976, my mom’s relatives came down to Oaxaca and we all went on a trip to the Istmo of Oaxaca, which was about 4 to 5 hours by car. We all rode together in a Volkswagen van. (I still remember it’s color, it was like a bluish light green)
On our way back, my grandpa (my mom’s dad), decided to drive. My parents were next to him in the front of the van. In the back were my other grandparents (dad’s side), my grandma (mom’s mom), my two youngest aunts, my brother Sergio, and me.
Mom remembers many times asking my brother and me to go with her, but we wanted to be with my aunts playing. My mom says that a big old truck wanted to pass us since the traffic was going very slow, and that the road was narrow and curvy. My grandpa decided to move over a little; to let the truck pass, but the person who was driving it was drunk, so when he did pass us he pushed us off the road. Since we were driving in the mountains and since there were no guardrails, the van fell down the hill, rolling over and over until it eventually stopped. Every body except my mom was unconscious. She tried to wake up everyone else. She went to find my brother Sergio. She found him on the ground, bleeding from his ear. She knew that it was bad, so she carried him with her and took him to my dad, who was waking up and realizing what was going on. Then she looked for me. She said she couldn’t find me for a while, and that she started screaming my name in desperation. Until now she cannot explain how in the world I was so far away from the rest of the family, severely wounded but alive.
She noticed that my right arm was bleeding tremendously and saw that it was broken badly. She assisted me like a professional rescuer, and performed a series of things to stop the bleeding and to hold my arm to my shoulder. She carried me and took me where the rest of my family was. By then everybody was awake, in pain, injured, and in shock.
Several hours passed after the accident, until my parents and me received medical attention. My parents had to ask a stranger from the road we were on, to take us to the closest town. My brother was already dead, and I was fighting for my life. The accident occurred around 6pm, and hours later I was flying to Mexico City in a small plane.
(From all of this I just have flashbacks. Most of everything I am telling you I remember from writing it all in a diary that I had with me in the hospital, from my mom’s story and the vague recollections I have. I can’t help crying while I am typing this, but I was asked to write the story of my life, and I have to put this sad part of it in as well. I do this in the hope that you can praise God for what He has done for my loved ones and me.)
My uncle (the doctor) took me in the small plane with him. As we arrived to the hospital they put me in a bed with wheels and I just remember a bunch of people next to me running, and my uncle Tono, telling them what to do.
My parents had to stay at the scene of the accident in order to drive back to Oaxaca to bury my brother Sergio. Sometimes I imagine that scene – a dark sky, and rainy. Since it was July, it probably was like that.
Several of my relatives were injured as well. But what hurt us the most with the loss of my brother Sergio, the firstborn. My dad’s world came apart. He said that he wished that everyone else had died but my brother. I can understand his pain, because Sergio meant so much to him and to all of us. Back then in my culture, to have the firstborn child being a boy was a great thing because the family name would last longer. Having men in the family was very important in Oaxaca. It meant respect to your family.
With all the pain my parents had, they still had to face my situation in Mexico City.
My mom says that my aunts were with me since the time I came out of surgery. The doctors decided to amputate my right arm because I had a big infection going on and they didn’t want my bone to get it too.
I have memories of being on the bed at the hospital, with the rest of my arm covered with bandages, and with pain. I remember writing and drawing in a notebook with a brown shiny cover. My mom said that I asked one of my aunts for a radio because I wanted to listen to music. I still have it; it’s small and green. It’s my favorite radio.
This all happened when I was three years old. I was in rehabilitation and physical therapy for many months in Mexico City. Mom says that before the accident I was left handed and very independent. So my progress in the hospital was fast. I had two psychologists working with me. One worked in ludotherapy (game therapy) and the other as a personal post trauma clinician. I just remember playing a lot in this special room, and talking to both of them. They were very nice. I think that’s where I got the desire to become a psychologist.
I grew up, went to USA as an exchange student, studied Clinical Psychology and later I returned to study Vocational Orientation and Psychological Pedagogy (education field). I lived in USA for some time, got married and then we both moved to Oaxaca valley to serve the people as missionaries. I have a lot to tell you about my life which is so much event full and would love to share more with you more in the coming days.
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