“But one of the most important things that I have learned is that wherever you are, even if it’s far, you always have to look for your family.”


A worker at the program

Here we were receiving Christmas gifts from a after school program.

My mom has loved and lost a lot of people. She learned a lot of different lessons from them. Some Lessons were about life and others about family. She has been through a lot of sad and happy moments in life, some had to do with me and others were about her relatives. She also struggled a lot with things her children needed but things are better now.


Alison Oscal:  My name is Alison Oscal, I am 12 years old, today is September 12 and I am talking with Magda Ramirez who is my mother. And now I am going to ask you some questions.
AO: Can you tell me one of the most important moments of your life?
Magda Ramirez: When you were born.
AO: Really?
MR: Yes.
AO: Why?
MR: Because I wanted a girl like you.
AO: And you had Aly too.
MR: Yes, but you were born first then later she was born. Yeah I was very happy that day.
AO: Can you tell me about someone who you will always remember?
MR: Your dad.
AO: Why?
MR: Because he gave me the gift that I have here right in front of me, which is you and your sister.
AO: If you could remember one memory for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
MR: When you called me “Mom” for the first time.
AO: [laughs] Is there something you haven’t told me before that you would like to tell me now?
MR: Yes, I’ve always told you “I love you,” but I’ve never told you a lot of things. I’ve never told you that you’re very courageous, but sometimes things are just like that.
AO: When you die or something like that, how would you like people to remember you?
MR: Um, how do I want you to remember me?
AO: Yes.
MR: Um, calm, happy, for you guys to not suffer and to be happy because life goes on.
AO: What is your favorite memory of me?
MR: When you first walked and when you used to sing to me.
AO: How long was it before I started to walk?
MR:  About a year and a half.
AO: Was I the first to walk from me and Aly?
MR: Yes.
AO: What are some of the important things that you have learned from this life?
MR: What I have learned in this life is to know how to live, know how to live but know how to live it good. Not just live to live, life is life anybody can live but not everybody lives good and I have learned to live good, calm, without drugs, alcohol, without problems, I have learned to live like this, good.
AO: And is there any moment from when you were a little girl that is very important to you?
MR: Yes.
AO: What was it?
MR: It was when my mom was having a birthday.
AO: How many years?
MR: She was going to turn 40 years old and I was really young and she, they made her a little cake and I, because she was leaning over the cake and I pushed her head in the cake.
MR: And instead of her being happy she hit me.
MR: She told me “NO” and she pushed me.
AO: So she was mad?
MR: At the moment she was surprised because she didn’t think that when she was gonna take a bite I was going to push her.
MR: And that was her reaction.
AO: Were you happy after you did it?
MR: Well yeah I was happy because we were all there, my sisters were there and no one was brave enough except me.
AO: Are there any of your brothers or sisters that have like, you learned a lot from them?
MR: Mmm, yes.
AO: Who?
MR: My brother, the one that died.
AO: Uh huh.
MR: He is the one that I learned a lot of things from. But one of the most important things that I have learned is wherever you are, even if it’s far, you always have to look for your family. The distance doesn’t matter when the family is good, you find each other and love each other because in the end the only thing that you have is your family, there are no friends there is only family. And he taught me that with whatever happens family is first and we are always together.
AO: And what is a very happy moment in your life?
MR: I already told you when you guys were born that was the happiest moment of my life because I never imagined that instead of having one child I had two. So there were a lot of emotions found but more happiness than sadness, but I survived it until now.
AO: What was the saddest moment in your life?
MR: Of my life?
AO: Yes.
MR: When I lost my dad, because I didn’t know what it meant to lose someone that you love that was always in your life and then all of a sudden they’re gone. And that was like a hit of grace in my life because I didn’t know how it felt like to be without him and now I know.
AO: You loved him a lot?
MR: A lot.
AO: How was life for you, was it easy or hard when you had to take care of a lot of kids that lived here? Before me and Aly were born.
MR: Difficult.
AO: Why?
MR: Because before I was with my kids in Mexico and there were not a lot of helpings like there is here. So I suffered a lot trying to maintain three or four kids and I suffered a lot, worked a lot and it was really difficult because if you bought clothes, you couldn’t afford shoes, and if you bought shoes you couldn’t afford clothes, if you ate meat now, in one month you wouldn’t. Life was very difficult.
AO: How did your life change when you got here?
MR: Oh, here it changed my life a lot because, I was sad in the beginning because I had left my daughters over there and I came here and felt so alone but with hope that I had to do something in order to bring them to me and In nine months I was able to bring them here. Then we were all together and we were happier, calmer but still with the worry that, “Who’s gonna take care of them for me when I go to work?” ”How am I gonna leave them here?” “I have to find somebody that I trust.” And it is really hard to find someone you really trust here, someone that will take care of four kids and that you can trust that person because right now there are a lot of bad people, a majority of people are really bad and they sometimes have bad intentions for boys and girls. That’s why I struggled a lot here but right now I’m good.
AO: Are you happy with how everything is now?
MR: Yes, I’m happy because we’re all together and most of my kids are married and I have you guys so I’m not alone, even though sometimes we fight we are always together and that makes me happy so I don’t have to worry about you guys like how I left today to bring food I made sure that you guys had something to eat first because I’m not going to leave if you haven’t eaten, you have to eat in order for you to be good because if you’re good I’m good. So I have to attend you guys first so that you can be good and I can be good. But that’s it really, what else can I tell you. I hope that you turn out to be a really intelligent woman and careful, if you see a problem like for example in the bible it talks about how the man sees a problem and he leaves, he hides but the fool sees a problem and goes toward it, so when you see a problem its better you leave as far as you can. Do not get involved in the problem because you will cause yourself your own problem just because you wanted to see what was going on, so its better you leave. Avoid problems and you’ll live happily and I will too because if you don’t have any problems I won’t either. And I hope you study a lot and make something out of yourself because in the end it’s your future, not mine. And I want you to be something, be whatever you want to be but, but something like a short career or a doctor’s assistant, nurse, teacher, judge, but be something so your future will be better. Okay?
AO: Okay.