Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A strong Latina mother who is still standing

They say a parent’s worst nightmare is losing a child. This Latina had to endure that nightmare times two.

In 1994-95, Amelia “Molly” Sordia Buchanan had to bury not one, but two of her children – and yet she is still standing. 

Her strength is immeasurable. It’s something that is difficult to describe in words. I will attempt to share a glimpse of her story here. Even though it’s been more than 15 years since she lost her two sons, it’s still excruciatingly painful for her to discuss, as you can imagine. She has allowed me to share her story, in hopes that it will inspire other parents who may have had to endure the pain of losing a child.

Her oldest son, Rudy Jr., was born in 1972, would have celebrated his 40th birthday this month. Her second son Christopher was born in 1976, and would have turned 36 years old this past July. 

Chris was just 18 years old and a senior at South Mountain High School when he was shot and killed in a drive by shooting in South Phoenix in October 1994. He had dreams of enlisting in the United States Army. 
Just three months after laying Chris’ body to rest, on Super Bowl Sunday, January 29, 1995, his brother Rudy Jr. was shot and killed. Still completely devastated by the loss of his baby brother, Rudy Jr. left that night to his girlfriend’s house and that was the last time anyone in the family saw him alive. 

Then reality set in for Molly – her two sons, her baby boys -- had been murdered and were never coming home again. How could this be? She felt pure devastation, sadness, grief, anger and unbearable pain. Yet, she is still standing. 

Molly credits her strong faith for giving her hope that one day she will be reunited with her sons in eternity. Her network of family and friends also helped her tremendously. But I believe her two daughters, her grandchildren and her husband have played the biggest part in providing Molly with the will to continue to live after such a horrific tragedy. 

A few years before Molly’s sons were unexpectedly taken from her, she found out she was expecting a child, at the age of 40. This came as a surprise to her. In January 1990, she gave birth to Briana. Who knew five years later she would lose her two sons?

Thankfully, this young child brought new life into the home. Like any other 5-year-old, she wanted to dress up for Halloween, have birthday parties and a Christmas tree with presents underneath. This little one along with her over-achieving beautiful sister Jennifer, who was just a teenager at the time, kept Molly moving forward one-day-at-a-time. Her two daughters gave her the will to keep living -- even when she felt like giving up. 

Years later she was blessed with two grandchildren; Christopher and Siena -- they too have added tremendous joy to her life -- along with her husband of 43 years, Rudy Buchanan, Sr., who has stood by her side every step of the way. 

Anyone who knows Molly can see that it’s her strong faith, her immediate family members, and her closest friends that have sustained her and have held her up!
She truly is: A Latina Still Standing.

(Full disclosure: Molly is related to me by marriage.)