Translated from Spanish.
Catalino Rivera was my father. He wore a sombrero and a mustacheand he was a country man. He was strong and very strict, but also had a happy character.
My father and I were always very close. When I was growing up in Mexico, I followed him everywhere. He brought me around the countryside and to school on a bicycle. My father took us to the pool, to the rodeo, and … Read More
I gave birth to my son William, my third child, when I was 22 years old. I had placed myfirst two children in foster care because I was dealing with an abusive boyfriend and we had nowhere safe to live together.
During my pregnancy with William, I was living in a domestic violence shelter and trying to get housing, but I felt more stable. I had a good job and I worked hard until we … Read More
One day I was Me, and the next I was Mom-Me. First came all the pain and all thescreaming (my own), and then a tiny human being was placed on my chest.
When I held my daughter, I was in awe. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I was scared that I might break her, but also fascinated by her tiny-ness. Her feet were the best part. I couldn’t believe how cute they … Read More
After my kids were taken, I felt so empty inside. Food didn’t seem to have taste. And I hated for the nights to come. The nights felt the worst. I didn’t know if my kids were safe and warm.
Sometimes I would go in their room and sit on their beds. I left everything as they had left it. My daughter’s pajamas were still under her pillow. Their toys were waiting for them. The … Read More
Being a parent is probably the most difficult job in the world. You’re almost always secondguessing yourself, wondering if you’re doing this and that right. Being a parent in prison is even more confusing. You rarely get to see your child, so it’s hard to build a relationship, and you feel a heavy burden of guilt.
Missing Those ‘First Times’
I was incarcerated when my daughter was born, so I didn’t get to witness … Read More