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Lost Without My Children
By Lelia Alvarez
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Lelia Alvarez
All right reserved.
Chapter OneBEGGING OF RUBEN'S LIFE
My dreams have always been to write a book, one day I was feeling so depressed and bored with my life thinking back at the way my life had turned out. I went form a happy child blessed with wonderful parents to a bitter and unhappy person. I asked myself why was I chosen to have had to endure this kind of life. No one can really answer me, I worked hard tried to make an honest living, helping anyone I could, but yet my life had so many ups and downs to the point that I felt my life had come to a complete stop.
I finally decided to keep my mind occupied by writing a book. I had never written a book before so I begin, thinking this will ease my mind, but boy was I wrong. This job turned out to be the hardest most emotional job I have ever had, but I was determined to finish it.
Starting with my childhood, I had wonderful loving parents who raised their seven children with a lot of love and we were raised as being very close to each other even as we all grew older, life was wonderful. I being the second born of the seven I remember my father always worked hard and was a good provider for the family. My mother worked part time but she was the one that managed the discipline toward the seven of us and all she had to say to us if we didn't behave she would tell my father. As I look back my father never even laid a hand on us. I don't know how my mother was able to devote all her love to all seven of us, counting my father and all her family. Mother was the type that went to every funeral and was always cooking for people that were in need. I can't understand how she did it but she was a very strong person being able to raise seven children and she was also like a mother to her eight brothers and sisters.
I remember being a very happy person having the time of my life. Once I graduated from high school my parents couldn't afford to send me to a university so I went to a business school. Soon after business school I went to work for a bank in the bookkeeping department and worked there for a little over a year. I had saved up some money and decided I wanted to be on my own. I moved to El Paso, Texas with a friend and got a job there. I remember it broke by mother's heart but she let me go. I worked there for over eighteen months and I was ready to come back home after I realize that was not for me.
My parents welcomed me home with open arms and I got a job in a finance co and again I was having the time of my life. I loved to go to dances and I always had a lot of boyfriends, but I met a guy who was friends with my brothers, and fell in love. We eloped in April of 1974, I decided I wanted to wait to make sure our marriage was going to last before we got married, but my husband insisted on getting married. I don't remember when we finally got married I know it wasn't long after we eloped. On February 5, 1975 my first love of my life was born, during my pregnancy I was having a lot of problems and got close to losing the baby. I was six month pregnant when my son was born, he was so tiny, but determined to come into this world before his time. The time came that I had to leave the hospital without my baby boy, this was a hard time in my life having to leave him behind. I understood my baby needed to stay in the hospital in order for him to survive, but I remember I couldn't stop crying as I left the hospital. I would visit him every day especially during the baby's feeding time, it would break my heart when it was time for me to leave him.
I decided to quit my job at the finance co since my son was so tiny and he would need a lot of attention and care. Finally after three weeks I was able to take my son home, I was so scared I decided to stay with my parents needing guidance from my mother since he was so tiny and delicate. I didn't know anything about taking care of a baby, especially one so tiny. The doctors advised us the baby needed to be feed every three hours around the clock, and couldn't be around anybody that was sick. I remember my parents were so excited to have us there with them, my mother even made my son his clothes since then there were no such thing as premature clothes. My son was my parent's first grandchild, born on my grandfather's birthday. He was my grandfather's first great grandson, so he was a very special baby. With the grace of God and my mother's help my son grew fast and healthy. Little did I know that my life was about to turn around for the worse, I was married for about three years, separated three quarters of the time, and the only good thing that came out of the marriage was my first born child Ruben.
My life changed after my son was born, it was the greatest joy to have a child, and I realized that I now was a mother and a large responsibility came with raising a child.
I was going through a very abusive relationship and I knew that this life was not for my son and I. I knew I needed to get a job in order to get a divorce and support my son. I found a job working for a gas company, once I felt my job was secure I saved some money and filed for a divorce.
My son was twenty eight months old when I filed for a divorce, and was final when my son was almost three years old. My son loved his dad dearly and couldn't understand why we were not together, but soon after we were divorced my ex remarried and that changed the way my son felt about his father. His father wouldn't come around to see him nor did my son like the way his step mother was treating him. After the divorce it was just my son and I alone without no child support. I worked and supported my son on my own working two jobs to make ends meet. My parents were happy to help me, but I was to proud to get any help. The way I looked at it, my son was my responsibility and I was determined to support him on my own. I remember some of my friends that were having problems with their marriages telling me that they couldn't divorce their husbands because they were afraid they wouldn't make it on their own. I told them it wasn't easy, but I couldn't live a life with so much hate, with my son seeing all that was going on.
Chapter TwoBEGGING OF HEATHER'S LIFE
I was divorced and a single mom working for a gas co and one of my co-worker who I dearly cared for was also divorced, so I started dating him, but his ex-wife kept interfering so we decided to go our own ways. I was hurt because I loved him, but yet I wasn't ready to make a commitment after my awful divorce. We still kept seeing each other on and off but it was hard working there seeing him every day knowing that we didn't have a future. One day a manager from a finance co came to pay his gas bill and offered me a job making more money and a chance for advancing to being a manager. I decided to take the job and gave my two weeks notice. The gas co wasn't to happy to let me go so they wanted to know why I was quitting, but I just told them I couldn't advance with them and I needed more money to support my son. The gas co told me I had a job with them if I ever decided to come back. I loved my job working for the finance co and the people I worked for were so pleasant to work with I was having the time of my life. I especially looked forward when the co-worker came in to make his payments because he and his ex-wife had an account there. We still kept seeing each other for about three years, until finally he decided to go back to his ex-wife. At the time I didn't know I had gotten pregnant and seeing him happy with his wife it was heartbreaking. I had also started a relationship with an ex-boyfriend so I really wasn't for sure when I had gotten pregnant. The other bad news was that the finance co was closing their doors and I was going to be without a job, but my God was so good to me, I had several job offers, so I decided to work for an insurance co. I worked very long hours and it was hard trying to learn the business. Several months later I find out I am pregnant, confused and thinking my ex-boyfriend is the father, I finally tell my ex-boyfriend I am pregnant, but that he isn't obligated to support the baby. This didn't go good with him and insists that he is the father. I told him that I didn't love him and that I would never marry him, but insist in being in our lives. We never lived together nor did we ever get married, but we kept seeing each other. I kept on working until two weeks before I had my second child. On February 22, 1981 guess what I had a beautiful baby girl who I named Heather, she was born full term and was big compared to Ruben. My God that was the second most wonderful day of my life. After my daughter was born my ex-boyfriend would come around, but after a while he didn't care nor did he even support my daughter. He later denied that she was his child and now I had two to support without any child support. I didn't care all I knew that my children were my responsibility and that was all that mattered. I was making good money with the insurance co so my children never went without. My children were my life and that was all that mattered to me. My children always came first.
The most precious moments were seeing Ruben so excited that he had a baby sister, I figured he was going to be jealous since he was the only one for over six years, but Ruben adored his baby sister and he would help me a lot in taking care of her. Since the first day Heather was born Ruben's love never changed and they grew up very close to each other.
Even though my children were six years apart it was hard to start all over again with a new baby, but my baby girl was a good baby, she slept all during the night so I didn't have to get up in the middle of the night. My children were raised in day cares since again it was my responsibility and I didn't feel right that my mother had to take care of them, of course my mother would pick up my children from day care until I got out of work but again it wasn't her obligation. My children loved my parents dearly because of the wonderful and special love they both had for my children. I was very lucky to have had such wonderful parents and proud to have a job to be able to support my children without having to depend on child support. I thanked God everyday for giving me such wonderful children and that both were healthy. I did feel sorry for my children since they had to be in day care, but I didn't have a choice. When I was off my children were always with me, I tried to make up for the time lost. I remember when Ruben started school, he was ready because he felt he was now a big boy and didn't have to go to day care. Ruben and his cousin who were six months apart were very close, but at the same time they would always be fighting. I remember in first grade Ruben and his cousin were in the same room and they drove their teacher crazy, because they both competed against each other. There were several times my sister and I had to go and talk to the teacher to try to settle them down. Gosh those two couldn't be without each other, but yet couldn't be together, I remember when they played basketball, they were put on different teams, talk about the referee trying to pull them apart, it was hilarious, they both put on a good show. I would look at their teacher and she would just laugh and tell us see what I put up with everyday. My children always seemed to be happy and were very attached to me, sure they would sometimes spend the night with my parents, but the next day they wanted to come home. Heather was the type she didn't want to share me with nobody, she would push away anybody that got close to me. Even though she was very close to Ruben, he would also be pushed away, but Ruben would just laugh and thought it was funny. I remember they never told on each other, they would always defend each other no matter what the consequences were. They would rather be both punished then tell on each other. I was very grateful that they were very close. They both knew that if they did wrong I wouldn't let them get away with it, so they learned at a very young age that they couldn't pull the wool over my eyes. My dad used to tell me that I was to hard on them, but when they grew up my parents were proud that my children been raised without a father were very well mannered. I never abused them, their punishment was no toys, tv, or no friends over, I never had to spank them, unless it was necessary, but they understood why.
Chapter ThreeSHORT LIFE OF CRISSY AND HER DEATH
Working with the insurance co was a challenge since all agents were male and I was the only female agent therefore I had to prove to them that I could work hard like they could and it didn't take me long to earn their respect. A time and point came when I decided I needed a better challenge to make more money with the insurance co. I decided to transfer to Big Springs, Texas, with my young children, it was hard since my parents were not too happy but finally they understood, it was only a two hour drive. My parents bless their hearts helped us move to Big Springs, Texas, and gave us their blessings. Of course before I moved I checked out the schools and day care center so I was ready to start a new live with my children to better ourselves. I remember like if it was yesterday the first day I left my son at school and my daughter at day care I cried all the way to work. It was tough starting a new life in a strange town but I knew my boss and his family since he had transfer over about six months prior and had offered me a job. I also had some friends that lived there that I knew. I was happy with my job and met a lot of people one of my clients kept on asking me out until I finally said yes. He was divorced raising his youngest son, was a great guy, and he treated my children like if they were his. When our relation got serious I got on the birth control pills and I ended up getting pregnant. I didn't know what to do so I decided not to tell him just yet, by the time I was fixing to let him know I found out he was seeing someone else. She was a drug addict so I though it was best he didn't know because I didn't want any problems. No body knew I was pregnant because I didn't show and I didn't want to tell my parents. My parents came over to visit since I keep making excuses not to come home that day I told them I was pregnant. My parents were supportive like always and that same night I started bleeding about ten at night my mother took me to the hospital and my dad stayed with Ruben and Heather. I was only eight months pregnant and I was so afraid of losing the baby. On October 2, 1983 around four in the morning I finally had another beautiful baby girl. This was the third most happiest day of my life, the only problem the baby was also born premature but by this time there were premature clothes and pampers. Mother stayed with us for a few weeks and dad went back to work. My dad picked out her name as Crissy and I named her Crissy Adele, which my Mom's name was Adela.
Little did I know that my baby Crissy Adele would be with us for only three months. I remember as if it was yesterday Crissy had her days and nights mixed up, and at night she didn't want to sleep in her crib. She would wake up around four in the morning for her bottle and she wanted it now, I would get up and feed her and she would go back to sleep. About a week before she died I remember her waking up crying and I got up to fix her a bottle, I swear I heard her call me Mamma, all I though Crissy is going to be a very smart girl and will start talking soon. My God she was only three months old what was I thinking. On a Friday Jan 13, 1984 I woke up and the sun was already shinning, the first thing that came to my mind was that Crissy had not woken up all night and since she was sleeping with me right away I turned to look at her. When I touched her she was cold, I panic and tried to revive her, but she would not respond.
I yelled at Ruben who was only eight years old at the time and he ran to the bedroom where he saw I was crying and trying to get Crissy to breath but she was gone. Ruben started crying, Heather woke up and starting crying. I didn't know what to do, I had just moved in to the house where I was living and didn't have a phone. I laid Crissy in her crib and sat Ruben and Heather in the living room while I ran to the neighbor to let her know and ran back to see about my children. I found Ruben holding Heather in his arms just crying their little hearts out, I held both of them close to me until my neighbor came over. My neighbor had called the police before she came over to the house. She told me that she would take care of Ruben and Heather in the living room so they wouldn't see me crying because I was going crazy, I didn't even want my parents to know, I didn't want them to go through the pain I was going through.
Excerpted from Lost Without My Children by Lelia Alvarez Copyright © 2010 by Lelia Alvarez. Excerpted by permission.
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