My Catholic faith runs deep through my veins. It is the greatest gift that God gave to me. He delivered it through two amazing women: my Grandma Petra and my mother. My Grandma Petra was a first-generation American. Her mother immigrated legally to the United States from Mexico. Grandma was Catholic. She didn’t drive. She didn’t even have a driver’s license. But she would walk half a mile to the Catholic church to attend Mass on Sundays. In 1985, my grandmother was sick with breast cancer. That Christmas, she invited each of her children to come talk with her, one-on-one. During my mom’s visit, she lamented to her mother-in-law that she had not given to Grandma a grandchild. My mom and dad had been married for six years. They had tried numerous times to conceive a child with no luck. Grandma gently reached out, took my mother’s hand, and said,
“You are going to have a child. You are going to have a child real soon, and she is going to be a baby girl.”
Grandma passed away in January of 1986. I was born exactly nine months after that Christmas conversation on September 25, 1986. When the doctor told my mom that she was pregnant, she looked down at her feet and noticed she was wearing Grandma Petra’s slippers. I never met my grandmother, but she knows me. I believe she knew me before my parents did. I have never met a person who has spoken ill of her. From what I am told, she was the most charitable, loving, strong-willed woman. In a way, I think of her as my family’s own Mexican Mother Teresa. I try to live my life in a way that I pay tribute to the memory of my namesake.
My mom called me her “Miracle Child” due to the circumstances surrounding the way I entered this world. She taught me to love this grandmother that I had never met. She taught me that it was the faith of Grandma Petra that inspired her to join the Catholic church. She taught me my own faith through her example and through her choice to send me to Catholic schools. The more I learned about my Catholic faith at St. Peter and Bishop Carroll, the more deeply I fell in love with Catholicism. Now, it is my everything.