By Alex Lomeli, 2004
When I was seventeen-years old, my
best friend invited me to participate in an extensive summer program
focusing on English as a second language at the University
accepting the university’s invitation, I got my parent’s blessing,
and two weeks later Efrain and I were on our way, flying across the vast
blue Mexican sky. We were
making all kinds of plans. We talked about the endless
opportunities we would soon have in
After we unpacked our luggage the following morning, I had a chance to talk to Efrain’s uncle Joe. He told me he was the only one working, and he was supporting a family of ten, he went on and on, saying he was having financial difficulties. Suddenly, a big red light came on in my head! That was the clue for me; I knew then something was wrong. Then he said, “Alex I’m sorry to tell you that I can’t afford for you to stay here with my family.” At that moment I felt that my whole world would collapse. I couldn’t believe what he was saying. He told me that I could only stay at his house for one week. He then gave me a choice, either to call my mom so she could make arrangements for me to go home or find some other place to live. The following week I decided to move out even though I didn’t know anybody else in town. So I packed my luggage and I was on my way to the unknown. I walked around the neighborhood aimlessly for a while. On one of the side streets I spotted a junked car that seemed as if no one had used it for a long time. That car became my home for the next few months.
During those hot summer months, I had a lot of time to reflect on my childhood; I understood how unkind I was to my mother while I was growing up. There were times when my mom would cook a wonderful meal and I would be such a jerk to her. I would tell her, “Mom this food is not good! It’s too cold or it’s too hot.” I was always complaining. I remember one occasion when my mom got very upset at me. She told me how ungrateful I had become and told me the following, “Someday, sooner or later, you may wish you could eat this food and you are going to be sorry.” Sure enough that day came a lot sooner then I had anticipated. I was feeling so bad for my behavior that the next day I decided to call my mother to apologize. I told her how sorry I was for all those times I was so ungrateful to her. After the summer was over I had lost so much weight that I was down to about one hundred and ten pounds. I was hungry, lonely, and very dirty. I had thought by now that I would be having the biggest adventure of my life, but how wrong I was! It was an adventure all right, but not a pleasant one. The following months got even worse, my house on wheels got towed away and along with my luggage. So now I had no more shelter and no more clothes. I was feeling very low. In fact, I had never felt so bad in my whole life. Winter came and so the adventure continued.
After my mobile home was taken away
from me, I was forced to look for a new shelter or the equivalent of
one. As I began wandering the streets, I spotted a tree house not far
from where I used to live. It was located on the corner of
In conclusion, it has been twenty–three years since I wished for the time of my life. I can now see that my wish surely came true in more ways than I could ever have hoped for. As I look at my life today, I can see that God taught me a very important lesson early in life. Nowadays, I have a beautiful home, an excellent job, and a wonderful family.