On the Edge of a Dream: A South Texas Story - Mary Mijares

On the Edge of a Dream: A South Texas Story

By Mary Mijares

  • Release Date - Published: 2005-04-29
  • Book Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Author: Mary Mijares
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On the Edge of a Dream: A South Texas Story Mary Mijares read online review & book description:

On the Edge of a Dream is a story about my grandparents' journey by train from Sabinas Hidalgo, Nuevo Leon Mexico, to Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas Mexico, Laredo, Texas, and on to South Texas to claim a home in America. They courageously faced the unknown seeking to make a better life for their families here in the United States believing they had greater opportunities to realize their dreams. Dad was seven years old at that time. As he grew older, he faced greater challenges in achieving these opportunities. It was my dad's dream of writing a book about his family's struggles to make their American dream a reality that inspired me to write this book. After arriving in South Texas, my grandparents first had to find work in order to make a living for their families. They weren't afraid of work. They were unskilled workers, so they found work in farms or ranches working with cattle, horses, or plowing in the fields. When cotton-harvesting season came, they weren't afraid of picking cotton though it was hard, backbreaking work, to say nothing of carrying large cotton sacks on their shoulders. My paternal grandfather died on January 1, 1921, when my dad, the oldest child, was almost thirteen-years-old, leaving Grandma a widow with five children. Grandma faced this challenge by working as a housekeeper for the farm owners. Dad found what hard work was at the early age of thirteen years. When he was not working in the fields in the hot and humid Texas climate, he worked in the dairy farms. When I was two years old, my maternal grandparents returned to Mexico when they found that Mexico had land grants for those wishing to return home. Quite possibly they decided they wanted to own their piece of land to farm it in order to make more money. My mom's two oldest brothers stayed in America and raised their families in South Texas. Hard work was not the only thing my parents faced. They also had to learn a new language if they wanted to understand their employers. Learning the English language was hard. Surrounded by Spanish speaking family member, it was easier to speak Spanish to them instead of speaking English. Eventually, Dad learned enough English to make himself understood. Another challenge my grandparents faced was a lack of education which would have made life easier and maybe more profitable. They only had the minimal education they could get in Mexico, but they taught their children to read and write in Spanish. Though my parents were very young when they journeyed to America, they lived in farms far from schools. Since they had no transportation to get to school, they could not attend even if they wanted to do so. They saw the importance of an education early in their lives because they were unable to get that education themselves. In 1930, my parents met and married. Two years later, I was born in Gregory, Texas, while my brother was born two years after me, and my younger sister seven years after my brother. My parents never lost sight of what an education could do. By the time we were old enough to begin school, they did everything possible to get us there. Also by then, transportation was available. Busses took us to and from school. Mom and Dad made sure we had what we needed to be successful students. Getting our college degrees after we graduated was an almost impossible dream. Dad did not make much, so when I graduated, I could only afford to go to business school. It was much later when I earned my Bachelor of Arts and Master's of Arts degrees. My younger sister and my brother both received Bachelor of Science degrees. My dad's dream of writing to tell of his family's journey to America inspired me to write this book. It took boldness to travel to a new country, strength to make a living by performing backbreaking work, and perseverance from us, his chil

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