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Get up and get moving. There's a sign in a window and it's got your name on it. They call you 'Help Wanted'". Grandma would always wake me with these words for as long as I could recall. She was a Fernandez and she was determined that I would be one too. I had gotten to know her when I was ten years old through the foster care program.


Grandma would always tell me, "Make something of yourself or somebody will make a fool out of you". I struggled in school, but her relentless passion pushed me to heights I never knew I could climb. Today, as I count the blessings of my teenage years, I am also reminded of my long past parents. I try not to think of them, but my mind does not obey my will. It wanders back into the blackened past of my childhood, and the spilled memories of my loving parents.
The memories pull at me like a magnate to steel as I think about the years I spent with my parents while they worked as Christian missionaries in nameless Central American villages. I remember sleeping in the stillness of a rainforest or with the cacophony of an ocean pounding the beach. There I could dream all night in a fairyland far away from here and far away from my home, my young mind lost in the stillness of a Guatemalan night.
The silence, occasionally broken by a primate's shrill cry, sounded like loneliness looking for a place to hide. At nine years old, I had an uneasy sense of the jungle and even more so since father had begun to lock the door at night. My imagination worked overtime to solve the riddle of the locked door and thought that monsters may come to snatch me away at any time. This night as my mother tucked me in she accidentally dropped a candle and stumbled in the darkness. ...
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