I have a very brave guest to introduce to you today. She is an undocumented immigrant who made the treacherous journey 20 years ago from her home in Honduras to reunite with her husband in Colorado. For today's purposes my guest will be using an alias to protect her identity. I will be calling her Mary.

Show Notes

Mary is doing an incredibly courageous thing by sharing her story with us. She wants people to know what it's like being an undocumented immigrant in the United States. This interview was hard for her. I could see in her eyes the memories she was reliving. I have the utmost respect for Mary. Eleanor Roosevelt says, "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face." Mary has done this.

The story that made the deepest impact on me happened after we finished recording. Mary gave me permission to share it with you. Mary became pregnant with her daughter at 17 while still living in Honduras. This news broke her mother, who kicked Mary out of the house. Mary went to live with an uncle. She had to quit school and work. Right before the baby was to be born, Mary's mother had a change of heart and welcomed Mary back into the house. As we learned from her story, Mary's mother watched over Mary's daughter for 5 years before Mary was able to bring her to the U.S.  Before Mary left for her perilous journey to the States, her mom begged her to forgive her for how she treated her when she was pregnant as a teenager. Mary looked directly at her, without any malice, resentment, or anger and said, "No, Mom. I can't forgive you because there is nothing to forgive. You gave me a great gift. You helped me to become strong. I wouldn't be who I am today if it wasn't for you." This depth of forgiveness astounded me. She retold this story with such kindness in her voice. She truly is thankful for that hardship because of the character it produced in her. She feels that her mom was never fully able to forgive herself. I haven't been able to stop thinking about this story since our visit.

What I learned from Mary is that forgiveness is freeing. Mary is not a victim of her circumstances. She refuses to be. She is brave and strong and kind and smart. Which of course reminds me of Winnie the Pooh who says: "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you know, and smarter than you think."

Five facts about Honduras Immigration:

Mary's Quote: "With God all things are possible" - Matthew 19:26

What is Gramercy?

Stories from those who live and work on the margins of society.