By Roberto Talavera
Author’s Note: My aunt, Angelina Nieto, is the mother figure in my life. My brothers and I have lived with my aunt most of our lives. She has cared for us and supported us. She has taught us to be responsible and independent people. I know several young people, like me, who are cared for by someone other than their mother. It is a tough role to fill, but my aunt is a strong person. I recently sat down with my aunt to ask her where she gets her strength and what is it like to help raise me and my brothers. Read her answers below.
Q: Why did you decide to become responsible for taking care of us?
A:“So that you can have a better future, a better education and a better job.”
Q: How did you become so strong?
A: “Well with the blows of life, I had to learn from what happened to me. I grew up working from a very young age. I had to bring you here to study, but if I had come to the United States earlier, I would have learned English when I was younger, like you.”
Q: How do you feel about raising us?
A: “It’s a lot of pressure. It is a great responsibility to be looking after you.”
Q: How has being a single parent affected you?
A: “It is not much of a problem except sometimes when the money is tight.”
Q: What is the hardest part about raising us?
A: “Sometimes I feel frustrated because I want you to do well in school and to pay attention to what I tell you so that you can be on the right path.”
Q: How would you like us to be when we grow up?
A: “I would like you to become strong men with good jobs that have respect for themselves and others.”