I Waited For You

by Migdalia Rivera

She told me she had been waiting for years. And she was right. It had been 24 years since I had seen her, since I had left her home.

She said I waited for you. I wanted to talk to you. To say, I am sorry and that I love you.

I cried. I knew in my heart I should have come sooner. I felt God’s prompting 4 years ago but I thought … tomorrow. I will go tomorrow. Not because I did not want to see her, but because I took time for granted.

She held my hand between her two thin hands. She was emancipated, skeletal in fact. I was amazed at her strength, her resilience. She weighed barely 70 pounds. Sheer determination kept her alive.

She told me she loved me, always had. I knew. She took care of me when it must not have been easy to see my mother’s face. She took care of me when no one had taken care of her. She led a hard life, a very hard life. Life had not treated her well. Worse, no one had extended a helping hand. No one gave her hope, or comfort, when she most needed it. Even as a child, I understood that and could not blame her for what had transpired.

I told her I loved her and had forgiven her years ago. It was not the first time I had said it. We had spoken over the phone. However, I believe she needed to see my eyes, to look into my soul, to believe my words. I know it gave her comfort. Her grip on my hands told me so.

She tried to speak but labored. She had lung cancer. The tubes made it hard. They irritated her but were necessary to provide some degree of comfort. She no longer received oxygen. Those tubes cleared her lungs.

She spoke to me about my siblings. Made me promise to visit often. I pray I can keep that promise. I know it is most difficult for the youngest. The last time we spoke he was 2.  Still, she persisted. She talked about him. I could see it was important and so I sat. I listened. I stored it in my heart.

She was a single Mom who loved her children, as best she could, with all she could. She had escaped an abusive relationship. Her husband, my father, was not the best man. He represented the machismo that harms women. He was nothing like my Daddy, my stepfather, who raised me.

Without going into detail, I understand what transpired between them, between us, made me who I am. Resilient. Like a reed. I bend but haven’t broken and know I have God to thank for that.

I also understand my parents, all 4 of them. None of them were perfect. They did the best with what they had. Just as I do the best with what I have. I am not perfect either. However, I know the cycle ends with me. My sons will have better. God has promised me that.

Speaking to my stepmother provided closure. It healed my soul, just as I am sure it healed hers. Yet, deep down I know, it was not her mistake. It started before her. Those parties may never apologize. But I’m learning that my destiny is not tied to my past or theirs. All I can do is learn from it…and do things differently.

And I will.

This past week was hard. Today was even harder, but tomorrow will be brighter. Debbie, my sweet stepmother, gave me a new beginning. She showed me that even in the rain there is hope, that people change and grow. She showed me that we can make a difference no matter how much time has passed. I thank the Lord for that, for His prompting to fly to Georgia this past week. I also thank Him for allowing her to be lucid when I arrived. It was the last time she was.

I know I will see her again one day. She accepted Christ into her life and I stand on the promise that we will meet again.

Because we will.

Till then, I will hold tight to what she gave me.

“For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”
1 Thessalonians 4:14

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:4

Debbie Rivera: September 19, 1956- May 3, 2012

About the Author

Migdalia Rivera, also known as Ms. Latina in social media, is a single Latina mother of a teen, tween and 2 Australian Shepherds. When not blogging, or chasing after her energetic bunch, she connects influential bloggers with brands and PR agencies via her blogger network, Stiletto Media.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sili May 5, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Sending hugs…
Sili recently posted..Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie

2 Irene May 5, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Beautiful post. I’m sorry for your loss. Your stepmom seemed to have waited for you so she can make her journey.

Irene recently posted..Hallmark Blooming Expressions Vase Giveaway – Ends 5/11

3 Jaime May 5, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Praying for you as you process your loss (and future gain). So glad you got to say goodbye, I love you and forgive you. Love, Jaime
Jaime recently posted..Draw Me a Map that Leads Me Back to You: The Power of Words

4 Justice Jonesie May 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Really sorry, Migdalia. Praying for you.

5 Onica {MommyFactor} May 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm

So sorry for your loss but it was good you saw her and healed both of your pains

6 Monique May 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I’m praying for you and your family xoxo

7 Carolyn g May 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm


8 Jen May 5, 2012 at 10:02 pm

So glad you and she both got some closure, Migdalia. Your faith is inspiring. Hugs and prayers to you.
Jen recently posted..Special Education, Suspension, Criminalization of School, Dropout Rates, and Race

9 Li May 6, 2012 at 2:13 am

Im sorry for your loss. Sending positive thoughts.
Li recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: ¿Café? ¡Olé!

10 Lory May 6, 2012 at 7:51 am

Wow mama, I had no idea of ur past experience, but u r truly a STRONG, BLESSED LATINA, I will always Love & Respect u for that. LOVE U ENDLESSLY…… XOXOXOXO!!!! GBU ALWAYS

11 S. Yissele Gallo May 6, 2012 at 8:25 am

I’m so sorry for your loss, thanks for sharing this great message of life, I really see you’re a good soul, you have many things clear and I believe that our experiences with the people we serve to learn and be better in your case was so! Blessings! ♥
S. Yissele Gallo recently posted..Sorteo de una Gift Card de $50 Gracias a Mi Milagro Nuestra Herencia por Pampers Latino.

12 rachel May 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Beautifully written post, Migdalia. It resonated with me. I’m sure none of this has been and is easy.

13 Cristina May 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Lo ciento mucho Migdalia. Ella ahora descansa en paz. Gracias a Dios que habrio camino para que la vieras, hablaras y te despidiera.

14 Oriana from MommyhoodsDiary May 6, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I am so sorry!! I’m praying for you and your family {{{Hugs}}}
Oriana from MommyhoodsDiary recently posted..What to Expect When You’re Expecting Giveaway

15 Bicultural Mama May 6, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Beautiful post…hugs to you!
Bicultural Mama recently posted..The Scoop on Summer’s Hottest New Toys

16 Rachel May 6, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Beautiful post Migdalia….sending lots of love and hugs during this tough time. XO
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17 Patty at A Day in My NYC May 7, 2012 at 10:10 am

Beautiful words. I am so sorry for your loss. Sending lots of love, prayers and hugs your way. xoxo
Patty at A Day in My NYC recently posted..Another Year Wiser

18 Maybelline @ Naturalmente Mamá May 7, 2012 at 11:27 am

Hugs Migdalia.. xoxo
Maybelline @ Naturalmente Mamá recently posted..Oferta por el día de las Madres en Medicine Mama’s Apothecary

19 Sabrina May 8, 2012 at 11:09 am

So sorry for your loss; I will keep you and the family in my prayers…

20 Rosie May 16, 2012 at 8:48 am

I’m so glad you got to be with her, Migdalia. Prayers of comfort for you. Hugs,

21 Chantilly Patiño July 20, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Your compassion is so beautiful Migdalia. I know what you’re going through and I dread that moment where I will have to say goodbye to a parent of step parent. There has been so much abuse in our family, and sometimes it’s hard to know when to protect yourself and when to have compassion for others.

I am so sorry for your loss. ♥
Chantilly Patiño recently posted..Comment on Understanding Hurtful & Abusive Relationships by Tracy

22 Aida F. February 5, 2014 at 2:42 pm

I am so sorry for your loss Migdalia, but thank you for sharing this BEAUTIFUL story, in that it teaches us that the human spirit can endure the HELL some go through in their lives!! Being a Latina myself, I’ve ALWAYS hated the *machismo* ways taught to our boys, whether intentionally or NOT…. it destroys men and their families sometimes to no return, and creates monsters out of men AND women, that would otherwise have grown into decent, mentally well-rounded, compassionate human beings. Also, the culture of cigarettes AND alcohol, just despise them, more soul destroyers…just my opinion!!

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