A few years back, when I went to court to confront him for harassment/stalking, the DA had asked me to get statements from anyone who had been directly affected by his actions. These statements would be presented to the judge to show the level this individual had gone to in order to get to me, get my attention, destroy me, destroy my reputation, to break me.
I had completely forgotten about all of this until I found a SIX page letter written by Mama. To see her compelling words took me completely back to that time in my life, Mama was partially paralyzed and had to learn how to write all over again with her left hand. She had always had beautiful handwriting and it was difficult for her to look at her handwriting ever again. I, on the other hand, had so much admiration for Mama and the strength and committment it took for her to start over from zero. Aside from learning to write again with her other hand, Mama also had to write much slower and would have to position the pages just so in order to be able to put the words onto the page — for her to be able to write one page could take hours.
Having a stroke might have slowed down Mama physically but not mentally, thank God. Where Margaret may have been quiet, even shy, when in front of people, she was so eloquent and could WORK IT in writing. I remember that, sometimes, we Torres5 would be hesitant, almost nervous, to tell Mama about anything we were going thru, at first, because we knew that it would be ON. But then, we would watch in wonder after turning in one of Mama’s notes to a teacher or to an office. In spectacular fashion, Margaret handled it for her Torres5 and it was thrilling to watch her, unafraid, fight racism and discrimination, apathy, and more in attempts to get justice for us. It was very apparent to all of our teachers that NO one messed with Margaret’s children.
So once I saw this six-page letter, I was amazed because I know that this had to have taken her days to write it. Then the tears came, tears of anger that my mother had to go thru this stress in her own home because of one stupidasspendejo. Mama always respected my privacy, never got into my business, and deserved to live her life in privacy and peace. That this tranquility was taken from her, albeit for a short time, saddens me to this day, she never asked to have her life disrupted, never asked to be involved in this mess.
Through my tears, I started smiling. Because, in writing this letter to the judge, my mother was doing what she had always done for me, took care of me, stood up for me when I could barely lift my head, had my back, made me stronger, got me through many a day, and made sure that she would contribute to my receiving justice. More important, seeing this letter made me happy: it was like Mama was reminding me to get a hold of myself and know my worth. It was also a confirmation that Mama a l w a y s had my back and HOW blessed am I to have this in writing?
I’m always grateful for signs: I needed to see/feel my mother today. Mama’s words were always powerful and today she reminded me of how far that I have come…and so thankful that I do not live this drama 24/7 anymore. Because on one fateful day in 2013, one Margaret Mary Torres decided to pick up a pen and put it to paper, to use her words instead of her fists to fight, once again, for justice for her child.