Courtesy of Martha Varela

Martha Varela

“Most of all, I’m just thankful for the time [my family] had,” head custodian Martha Varela said. “Right now it’s hard because of their schedules. I have my oldest son, and he always texts me. He’ll say, ‘I love you, Mom.’ He’ll say in Spanish, ‘I love you Madre, and I hope you’ll have a good day.’ I’m glad he does that because some kids don’t have that. I remember my mother and I were not very close. They never told me they loved me when I was little, but there was 13 in our family. I didn’t understand it then, but now do because my mom had to cook and clean everything and my dad had to work sun up to sun down. Deep down I knew they did.”

“When I got married, my husband said to break that cycle, so I did. I would keep calling them and keep calling them. I would even call my brothers because my brothers didn’t say that either. One day my brother said ‘I love you, Sis’, and it surprised me, and with my mom too, when she said ‘I love you, Mija.’ If it wouldn’t have been for my husband, at the very end, my mom and I wouldn’t have had that closeness. He made me see things differently after we got married. I think if I would’ve had him to lead or show me that love, I don’t think I would’ve done that to my kids. I think the cycle would’ve kept going. Reach out to your parents and vise versa. It’s more important for them to have that closeness.”

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