short story | argelia found hope
Argelia never knew her father as he was killed in an accident when she was just a baby. She grew up with her mother’s determination to work hard enough to provide a home and food and clothes for her family. Argelia has a deep sense of admiration for her mom, even though her work kept her away so much that Argelia learned to cook for herself and her baby sister at the age of seven. She now often stands on the street corners of East LA helping her mom sell flowers.
At sixteen she faced tremendous pressure from her mother, a young man called himself “her boyfriend” and a doctor whom she never met. Each had a strong opinion as to what she should do with her unplanned pregnancy – a pregnancy that was the result of date rape. She never imagined being in this situation. A young man at church, who had previously told her of his love and affection, adamantly pursued a relationship as friend then as a boyfriend. He suddenly shifted to rejecting not only her as a person but the baby that was growing inside of her.
Through a Priest and social worker at her local parish, Argelia was directed to WPC. She repeatedly says that she was shocked by the cleanliness of WPC’s South LA clinic in comparison with the multiple other clinics she had been dragged to during this process. She also couldn’t help but notice that the counselor saw a purity and tenderness in her, removing the blame and the guilt and restoring hope. As she sat with her counselor, it was different than before, the pressures were removed, and all the resources about her options were clearly laid before her. She even got a chance to see the life that was growing inside her. As she saw the ultrasound, she commented that this moving baby was her son and he deserved life. Life was the choice that she wanted to make. Regardless of the pressures and rejection that were already taking place, she would not reject this baby. She knew that it wouldn’t be easy, but she chose the hard thing, believing that by choosing life, she would experience life.
As a 17 year-old girl, Argelia travels on multiple buses from the other side of LA with her younger sister, brother and infant son just to come to her monthly Parenting Program classes and counseling sessions. WPC‘s staff is enamored with the incredible smiles that continually burst forth from her nine month old son’s face. They are a sweet reminder of the love and care that he clearly receives on a daily basis. During their visits, Argelia often expresses her thankfulness to her counselors at WPC, who she calls her friends, and believes they saved her son Ruffino’s life.
In the short time I met with Argelia and worked on writing her short story, my heart was stirred with a love for her heart, compassion for the hardness of her life, and an inspiration as I listened to her sacrificial love she had for her son. Writing this short story, her willingness to sleep on hard floors if need be just to be near her son, to protect him and be there for him, her strength to travel the chaos and exhausting experience of multiple bus lines to connect with the women of WPC to receive as much as she can to love and raise her son as he deserves, are just glimpses into the wonderful and beautiful girl Argelia and the hope she found through WPC. And her baby boy, man can he smile and laugh!
short story | santa barbara photographer
short story | Argelia found hope
Thank you for reading Argelia’s short story, a peak into the beautiful story God is telling through her life. As you remember her, I hope you will be compelled to pray for her, pray as God stirs you to pray. A short story is just that, short, often too short.
much love + peace to your hearts,
katee grace 🙂