Yesterday I got to talk in front of a bunch of great ladies about courage. I really thought: 'courage? I'm not the woman for this topic'. I was in a way forced to look in the archives of my life's experiences and pluck one so as to share. I have been having a cold for the last 2 weeks, I have a hoarse voice, somewhat of an accent, and now with the cold, add a muffled sounding voice. I guess you could say it took courage for me to complete the task, which I am happy to announce, I did. I shared an experience that occurred when I was 12 years old. It was December 16th at exactly 12:15am when the old red van drove off with my mother and my 3 sweet little brothers. They were going back to Mexico, as requested by Mom, I later learned. I stayed in the U.S. with one of my older brothers and his young family. Seeing that van drive off was one of the hardest things I ever had to experience. Danny, the oldest of the 3 boys was my very best friend. Nachito, the middle kid was this serious little kid, he had a maturity even at that tender age that amazed me, and Martin, the 'baby' was hands down the most gorgeous little baby I had ever seen in my whole 12 years of life. I figured out that the 4 of us had been together our whole lives until that dark event. Consequently, I became a pretty depressed kid. Spent many sleepless nights worrying about those boys. Months went by and Gustavo, who is another one of the older brothers of mine, came to visit me. We lived about 1 hour away from eachother. He worked for a horse rancher in a little town named "Knightsen" I remember that little town because I thought the name sounded fancy...like a land chuck full of Knights in Shining Armor. In reality it was a farming town, lots of orchards and of course, the horse ranch that belonged to cool cowboy man named "Tom Long" cool name also. Gustavo lived in the ranch, he took care of the horses. He lived in a tiny little trailer, that ones you hook onto a big pick up truck. Gustavo went to visit me, he decided right away that I needed to get out of that situation. He saw my sad demeanor and probably a very neglected kid. By now it was almost summer. He said: "you're going to go live with Chali". I didn't know Chali, she was my sister, but really I didn't know her. She is 15 years older than me and I don't remember her living at home when I was a little. I didn't want to go live in a new place, but ultimately I was put in a dinky airplane. Here comes the courage part: I knew there was a minimal chance that that plane would crash and I would die that summer. As I walked up the little hall to the entrance of the plane I had the strongest impression that seemed to tell me: "You could die today, you know, do you really want to die a miserable person? Quit being sad! Quit feeling sad, you are not alone, now cut it out!" I made a decision on the spot that I would change my attitude. I didn't die that day, but I have to say I got a new start at my life. I made the best I could with myself with whatever situation I was put in. I found the joy I had stuffed deep down in soul a few months ago. I arrived at my destination and was welcomed by a very loving older sister who nurtured me as family only can. I have this memory of my 1st week being at her house: "Sol, do you brush your hair?" -"sure I do!" ---"come have a seat here" she proceded to brush my hair out, I had knots bigger than plums. She took about 30 minutes brushing out my hair. That's pretty pathetic, that I didnt even know how to do something as simple as brushing my hair. I must have been quite a sight before that. I write this here mainly because I want to record a little tiny bit of my history so that my 2 little monkeys can see where their momma came from.