My hero is my wife, Vicky. On August 26th, 1984 at 8:00 pm sharp, we were seating on a park bench across from our local church. We were both 15 years old. Vicky was nervous but not even close to how nervous I was: I was about to ask her out for the first time.
I joined the military academy in Mexico and I became an officer. Those were days of difficult armed conflict and many of my classmates died in combat. Even though Vicky knew the same could happen to me she stood by my side always. Vicky and I continued our relationship. We wrote letters to each other often (I still have some from 1984!). One day while we were together at a restaurant we spoke for the first time about getting married. At the same time there was a TV show on about a little angel called 'Andrea.' Then with her sweet voice Vicky whispered to me 'Would you like to have a little Andrea?' I almost fainted! But I liked the idea, so every time we wrote letters to each other we always mentioned 'Andrea.' Given how dangerous my position was at the time, in one particular letter she wrote: 'Please, please, please take care of yourself. If something were to happen to you we would never meet Andrea! My prayers are with you.'
One time I was ordered by my superiors to do something against my beliefs. I did not carry out the order, and as a result, I had no other option but to run away. Vicky's heart was broken—she couldn't come with me and so we had to say goodbye. However we continued talking to each other, and one day she made the decision to follow me. It took her 65 days to travel across Mexico, facing unbelievable dangers (she was alone and she was a pretty girl).
Finally she arrived and we were together again. I was poor I had no place for both of us but she did not care. 'Money is not everything' she told me (and she mean that) so our first month we rented a closet right under the main stairs of a family house. We started looking for jobs. We went to bed hungry many nights but she never complained. What she did do was to encourage me to be a better a man. She never complained—she just stood by my side.
Time went by and on May 19th 1992, we found ourselves driving to the Kaiser Permanente Hospital on Sunset Boulevard in California. Vicky was in labor! All of a sudden the nurse told us we had a baby girl. Vicky looked at me and said 'Andrea is here' and we both cried like children. However our smiles changed when the doctor approached us with concern and told us there was something wrong with the baby and they took Andrea away to treat her. Later that day we were told that Andrea was born with Down syndrome as well as some other serious complications, and that she would probably not live longer than three months.
Andrea is now 16, and every moment we've had her has been a blessing. A year or so later after Andréa's birth we had a son, Byron Jr. Vicky has always been there for all of us. We bought a house and we both had great jobs. Vicky dedicated her life to help people working with children with disabilities and she encouraged us all to do the same as volunteers. Because of Vicky's example, Andrea, Byron and I served during the weekends.
Many years had gone by now, and yet in one night everything changed. I was deported. I asked Vicky to stay because of Andréa's needs but she did not want to be poor again, and she wanted her family together. So they joined me back in my native country, which had completely changed since I had last been there. Everything was different—we didn't recognize many buildings or streets. It was very, very hard. I became depressed and wanted nothing...and then again Vicky helped me and encouraged me to go on. We had no place to stay so an old friend allowed us to stay in an abandoned house of his with no electricity or running water. Vicky never complained.
A couple of years went by and we began to realize that our children had no future the way we were living. Andrea hasn't been able to attend school because there are no programs for her and what was worse—her health was deteriorating. We had to make a difficult decision. I begged Vicky to leave me behind; against her will they are back in the US. I have no idea when I will see them again, but I know it was the right choice. And even though we call each other every single night, we miss each other greatly. What I admire most about my wife is how she is willing to sacrifice the love of her life for the other loves of her life—our children. Vicky is, with no doubt, my hero.
Submitted by Anonymous