There are those in our lives that become way makers, bridge builders, wall breakers, gate openers, and destiny markers. My grandfather Humberto is one on them. Born and raised in a small village in Mexico he came to the United States pursuing the hope of finding a job to feed and provide for his family. He climbed on the back of a pick-up truck with my grandmother and their children to head to “El Norte” in hopes of finding fields to work on. It is unthinkable the sacrifice they made as a family to pursue a better life. My grandparents dream was to come to the US to work, perhaps save a little and purchase a home, and hopefully the younger kids could go to school. They dreamed of a better life for the next generation. Simple but not easy. My grandfather accomplished this task through hard work and determination. At the end of his years, his hands were calloused from hard work, his eyes were tired but still had a vision for his children and great grand-children, his feet were slow but determined to climb as long as there was life in him and his heart was weaker but still overflowed with love for his generations.
A few weeks before my oldest graduated from high school my grandfather sat up on his hospital bed. I brought my boys to him and told him they were going to study and work hard like him. He smiled from ear to ear. He blessed them. His eyes were filled with peace knowing poverty was now just a memory, hunger would visit no more, and the work fields would not trap the next generations. Crossing the border decades ago had proven to be worth it. For days, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren visited with him. He had touched and influenced so many lives. Two days later my grandfather crossed his last border. He crossed over into heaven.
Today, these boys will not be climbing in the back of a pickup truck, but they will be boarding a plane with laptops and backpacks. Dreams of “EL NORTE”fill their hearts. They dream that the soles of their feet will be treading the hallways of prestigious universities in the North East, they dream of crossing social borders, cultural borders, and stepping into new dimensions. My grandfather left a legacy of being a “border crosser”… crossing over borders of poverty, illiteracy, social barriers, racism, and discrimination. He built bridges over these obstacles. These bridges were built with a dream in his heart, hard work, and determination. He wouldn’t allow them to limit him nor his family. Let’s teach our children to not only cross over limitations but dissolve them once and for all for the sake of the generations that follow. Let us show them how to be bridge builders so others may follow. #hispanics #buildingamerica