Echoes of My Parents' Heart

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

I was too young to understand. I was too naïve to comprehend, that I was born a stranger in my own land. And only now am I hearing the echoes of my parents’ heart, as it beats beneath the manacles of hate. And it breaks my own heart to now realize the pain they must have suffered and endured, without revealing to their son that I was born to be Chicano and not born to be free

ECHOES OF MY PARENTS’ HEART

By Al Garcia

I was too young to understand. I was too naïve to comprehend, that I was born a stranger in my own land.  And only now am I hearing the echoes of my parents’ heart, as it beats beneath the manacles of hate.  And it breaks my own heart to now realize the pain they must have suffered and endured, without revealing to their son that I was born to be Chicano and not born to be free (back in the 1940s).

Only now so many years later and after a lifetime of self-denial, am I struggling with the fact that even being born in America did not mean you were free.  I was too young to grasp the subtleties of hate.  I was too young to absorb my parents’ broken hearts, or see the tears they shed for me and for themselves.  And only now, do I hear the echoes of my parents’ heart, and my soul is filled with rage.

Texas, my Texas, why did you reject us?  Why did you subject us to the horrors of discrimination?  Why did you abandon us, when our parents’ sweat, tears and heartache helped to build and mold, and make the Texas that I know and that I was taught to love?  And I hear the echoes of my parents’ heart, and I try my best to understand.  But all I seem to fathom is my parents’ broken heart.

I was too young to understand that the smell that seemed to always fill the air was really bigotry and hate, and not the smell of the animals that grazed or made our yard their home.  My parents protected me and shielded me.  They covered me with love and tenderness, so I wouldn’t feel the pain that surrounded and enslaved me.  But now, I hear the echoes of my parents’ heart, and it pains me and it hurts me deep inside.

I grew up a Texan, or so I always thought.  But now I understand the looks I got while growing up, for simply being young and brown and my parents’ son.  I had never realized that true Texans were white and free, and meant to own the land the animals and me.  And I hear the echoes of my parents’ heart, and I begin to weep.

I am my parents’ son, but now I’m free to think and to be me.  I am brown, and I am proud because of what they did for me.  They gave me LOVE in a time of hate.  They gave me the CONFIDENCE to face the fears that life would bring.   They gave me an IMAGINATION, so I could dream of a better tomorrow.  They gave me the DETERMINATION to strive to be a better man, and help to make a better place.  They gave the RESILIENCE to handle the sorrows, hardships and disappointments that would surely come my way.  They gave me the DISCIPLINE to wait for the freedoms that would eventually come to be, because they knew the shackles of hate would one day fall and set us free.  And, they gave me the EXPECTATION of HOPE so I could see beyond the darkness of the moment, to a tomorrow free of hate, discrimination and bigotry.  And I hear the echoes of my parents’ heart, and it makes me proud to have been their son.

And I heard and learned from the pain and anguish that I saw and felt growing up in the Valley of my parents’ birth.  But I never knew that I was not the equal that I always though I was.  I never knew that hate could last so long and be so cruel.  I never knew the real pain of bigotry and racism in my parents’ Valley, until I heard the echoes of parents’ heart.

I am a Texan, and I’m proud, even though not long ago it was never proud of me.  I am American, and always was, even though it abandoned me when I was too young to understand.  But through it all, my parents’ love and trust and faith sustained me through the darkest hours that once covered the Valley in hate.

And I hear the echoes of my parents’ heart . . . still beating loud and strong within me.


Submitted: June 19, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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