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My mother.  

Sugie Lane Vasquez. 

Sugie was so much more than a victim. She was a devoted mother, respectable daughter and loving sister. She was the embodiment of service and generosity. Although that generosity was the beginning of her end as she met and began tutoring Rogelio in English in late  summer of 1976, she was also a spirit that blessed so many who were truly grateful for it. She was known for her gentle, kind spirit when it came to animals – feeding herds of feral cats in the back yard by spreading the food in a long line so they wouldn’t fight over it, being the one who folks would bring sick, half-dead animals to in order to save them. 

With very little material things to her name because she was kept hidden away in her house by her controlling, abusive husband, she still managed to create magical memories for her babies – Friday night  traditions of neapolitan ice cream (so everyone got a taste of their favorite flavor) while falling asleep to tv shows all snuggled together on a pallet on the floor in the living room; intricate, hilarious-but-kind April Fools jokes that brought her to her knees with laughter, laughter that was always contagious. 

She cared for her children when they were ill with that magical touch that only a mother has. She  consistently served her husband meals prepared to his exact specifications, kept his home tidy, carried out his bidding unfailingly. Unflinchingly.  

And for her troubles, a hateful blow. A shallow filthy grave. A cowardly, murderous husband who fled.  Year after year he enjoys his freedom and the breath in his body.  

She is missed dearly. 


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