Courageous Love: Flor
In an aid station for deportees just inside the Mexican border in Nogales, I met Flor. She was eager and proud to practice her English. At twelve years old, she had spent the past 11 years in Phoenix with her parents and 4 year-old brother, Antony. Her dad is a chef at a French restaurant. Her mom works as a seamstress and in a local restaurant.
Several months ago, a call from relatives in Oaxaca brought sad news. Flor’s paternal grandmother had been diagnosed with cancer and her maternal grandfather was dying. The family took a big risk—they headed to Mexico so that Flor could meet her grandfather for the first and likely the last time. Flor smiles but looks away as she describes her grandfather who could hear her at his side, feel her holding his hand, but he never opened his eyes.
The medicine there, Flor says, is not good enough for her grandfather or her grandmother. As they prepare to come back to Arizona, to their house, their jobs, and school, they plead with grandmother to come with them, Fear keeps her in Oaxaca. The family leaves.
At the border, they pay someone willing to take them across in a truck. Antony is legal, you see, and they have papers to prove it. Their chances are good. The driver drops them off in the U. S. and the family of four begins their walk to Phoenix.
After one day in the desert, passing three dead bodies etched in great detail in Flor’s memory, they rest under a tree. The border patrol seizes them near Ajo, AZ. Flor hasn’t seen her father since that night—now several jails ago. He was not deported with them. As the English speaker, Flor is now in charge of negotiating the system. She was given a phone number to call with the assurance that this number held the key to reuniting their family. She called. No one had heard of her father.
Flor’s courage and determination are an inspiration. She is wise beyond her years. The love that binds this family together is strong. My profound hope for Flor is that, very soon, her family will be united.
Lifted up by: Dea Brayden