July 12, 2018

Immigrants: A Gonzalez Legacy by Frank Gonzalez Sr.

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Written by: La Vida Valle
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Gonzalez elders

The year 2018 and very difficult times for immigrant families trying to flee from war-torn and violent environments in order to protect their families from certain harm and even death. It is difficult to understand why there still exist so much opposition and hatred and lack of understanding and compassion for their plight. “One family Stands out”. Listen to their story. I would like to share with you their story and struggle and difficulty in being accepted into this country of immigrants which was founded on promises of accepting people of all races and offering an opportunity to live in a free country where everyone can live free and strive to achieve the “American Dream”.

This family left their country with nothing but the clothes on their backs and the pregnant mother embracing a framed statue of the Virgin Mary. She already had ten children and even then in her advanced pregnancy was willing to make this difficult and dangerous journey in order to protect and offer her children an opportunity for a better life. Imagine traveling with ten children. One small boy 3 ½- years-old stands out. You can see him holding the hands of his little brother who is only 1 ½-years-old. At this small age, he was given the responsibility of protecting his little brother. They were the smallest of the ten. Immediately older than the two small boys were four small girls clutching together. They are only 5,7,8 and 11 years old. I can only imagine what was going through their minds with maybe a little fear as they were being moved from their home to a place that none of them are familiar with. The older children are a group of four, all teenagers. The oldest is a seventeen-year-old boy, a sixteen-year-old girl, a fourteen-year-old boy, and a thirteen-year-old boy. They probably were required to carry more responsibility than the smaller ones and probably had to carry some of the smaller children for most of the trip. As hard as it would be, the parents chose to leave their home and make this difficult journey leaving behind a country where people were being murdered, executed and hung with no questions asked. Fleeing this type of place was something they had no choice about. They had to leave in order to protect their family from being murdered or stay behind and risk everything. I am sure the travel wasn’t easy and I am sure that they suffered much during that long trip. Ten hungry children, especially the babies asking for food when there might not be any. Parents willing to sacrifice not eating so their children could eat. Now imagine how that father and mother felt as their children were taken away from them and the children put in cages with the smallest boys placed in separate cages away from their older siblings. Imagine the smallest girls being put in cages away from the older sisters. I can just hear their crying as they call for their mommy. Imagine the two smaller boys, only 3 ½ and 1 ½ years old clutching together and screaming for their mommy and the mother agonizing knowing she is powerless against the evil racist leadership that we are being governed by today. Worst off imagine those babies being lost in this incompetent system. This is 2018 and could very well be a family trying to come to the United States now, hoping we would understand their plight and welcome them with understanding and an open and human heart, but the family I write to you about did not make the trip in 2018. This family made the trip one hundred years ago in 1917 and are my grand-parents Candido and Candida Gonzalez and that little 3 ½-year-old boy is my father Diego Gonzalez. The little 1 ½-year-old is my Tio Santos, the 5-year-old is my Tia Antonia, the 7-year-old is my Tia Dominga, the 8-year-old is my Tia Maria, the 11-year-old is my Tia Adelaida, the 13-year-old is my Tio Francisco (Pancho), the 14-year-old is my Tio Luz, the 16-year-old is my Tia Romana and the 17-year-old is my Tio Felix. Finally, the child my grand-mother is carrying in her womb is my Tio Manuel. All survived the journey, had a very productive life and produced very successful and beautiful children, “YOU”. All have left us, Tio Manuel, born in 1918 would have been one hundred years old this year. The feature photo is a picture of six of those babies (five had already passed away) that made that journey one hundred years ago and how they looked like in their later years. Like YOU, beautiful people. And Little Diego, the little 3-year-old boy, well he survived all eleven and was the last one to leave us in 2001. Below are pictures of him at 10, 25, 65 and 85 years old.

We continue to multiply and now number in the hundreds. Among us are very successful people. We are Americans that contribute greatly to this country and are proud of our heritage and our race. Think about our forefathers and what they sacrificed so that we all could have a better life. Now please think of those families that today 2018 are doing the same thing our fathers did. All they want is something better for their children. I ask you to fight for our Fathers legacy. Don’t let mean, evil, racist lying leaders tell you our people are illegals. Human beings are not illegal.

Now our forefathers have been here much longer than our so-called leaders or their families have. Many of our forefathers settled and colonized Texas and Northern Mexico since the 1500’s. This has always been our home. I for one am proud of my forefathers and their contributions to make this country great. Don’t allow fake leaders to tell you otherwise.

One final note. Diego had three sons. All served in the military. Now compare that to a draft dodging POTUS and his two military evasive sons-of-POTUS. Where is the loyalty and effort to serve and defend our country? And they want to question our status as Americans. Where are the real Americans?

Story and photos by Frank Gonzalez Sr.

Diego at age 25 in Primera, Texas

Diego at age 25 in Primera, Texas

Diego at age 10 in Primera, Texas

Diego at age 10 in Primera, Texas

Diego at age 85 in Harlingen, Texas

Diego at age 85 in Harlingen, Texas

Diego at age 65 in Primera, Texas

Diego at age 65 in Primera, Texas

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About the Author

La Vida Valle
La Vida Valle was created in June, 2011 as a platform for all things related to the arts, the people and the culture of the Rio Grande Valley.


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