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Mari Meza-Quezada

Posted By Mari Meza-Quezada || 31-Jul-2020

Ten years ago, our house caught on fire. Besides losing everything we also lost my 6-year-old daughter Malani. There really are no words to describe how horrific that is and the torture that the ones left behind feel. Even so, my focus today is to share my story about what has happened to our family since then and by doing so I keep my inspirations of God and Malani in the forefront. Throughout those ten years, as a mother, I have struggled tremendously to keep my children and I surviving. In one day, we went from having a home, family and transportation to the nightmare of homelessness, death and a long future of struggle. We have lived in several different places including hospitals, renting a room, housing authority projects, (where a shooting happened), Rv's in yards, renting run down places and garages since then. Our RV was my security blanket. I thought if we have nowhere to live at least I have the RV. It burned down at our friend’s farm fire. I’ve had cars stolen, dumpy cars, borrowed cars, cars broken down and had to do a lot of walking and some public transportation. I found a job at Providence which was great. I was almost immediately garnished, and those garnishments lasted over 4 years. I was working a float job with no benefits and I’d come home with checks that averaged about $400. Each year, I didn't get relief from an income tax check because it all was automatically taken for school loans. So, for close to a decade I had no financial relief. I did a lot of crying, praying and tried to stay positive for myself and my kids. I had the hope always within me that we had the land still and one day we would have a home there again. I still have that hope. After so many years, we deeply desire that stability. We almost lost the land twice due to taxes throughout the years of which I could not afford. It’s hard to keep the faith when there is a foreclosure letter in your hand asking you for your right arm and leg. I had a strong vision one day. Through my ugly crying, I felt like if God can make a whole world and gave me a vision, what is a little piece of land to Him. In this vision, I saw a large hand put a life-sized green monopoly piece on the land. I felt like God agreed with my heart's desire and was going to put a house out there. That has given me strength when nay-sayers came into my path. I am determined that when I do have a house it will be painted green or at least the front door as a remembrance of all the struggle and how we were never left behind. Two different times God put it in two different people's hearts to help us with taxes for which I am so grateful. Our lot was not lost, and I still have all my arms and legs. Through years of sacrifice and working hard to pay off debt and free financial coaching through Providence, I am finally barely starting to get my feet under me now. We were also loved on by Providence employee as we were recipients of Christmas gifts where my kids truly would not have come even close to having a such an abundance. Even I received gifts like clothes and shoes that I still wear to this day. We received a heater and heating blankets that made ever difference in the world when you are in a cold shack-like living space. They didn’t know us, our struggle or the difference it made but I’m grateful they gave anyway. My best gift was the smiles on my kids’ faces, the warmth, and the financial relief. I am nowhere close to being able to rebuild or hire a contractor on my own and I know my construction abilities would not even put us in a popsicle stick home, yet I am not giving up believing in my family's dream. The house is long gone but we still have a garage on the lot and sometimes we like to go out there, camp and just soak in the peace of the apple orchards, vineyards and sense of home. Recently, I stood in yard looking at the majesty of the sunset and prayed out loud for guidance. Guess what? Within the last couple of weeks and through what I believe to be a divinely orchestrated series of events, God has brought me a former contractor who specialized in remodeling who is willing to not only take this project on but he has posted on social media asking for help for all kinds of resources. Not only did I get a contractor who I don't have to pay but is looking for resources himself to get the project done! I believe we now have at least $1400, a HVAC professional volunteering, a borrowed backhoe, and a borrowed dumb truck. I see a speck of hope and my children do too. We've been out at the lot clearing things out, giving things away, busting up shelves and getting the garage to the bare walls so that those who need to see what they are working with can dream and plan with us. We are excited to see what will come next. The contractor thinks that if all the resources come in that he can get a little home made from our garage by the end of August. I didn’t tell him this and I hope he doesn't get discouraged because I believe in my heart, God willing, that it will be done by October 19, 2020 which will be exactly 10 years since we lost our home and our beloved baby girl Malani. The future is bright and green. Never give up on love, hope and faith. https://www.nbcrightnow.com/news/year-old-girl-dies-in-early-morning-house-fire/article_e385dd38-ae92-5e43-aefe-ffa370cd00a4.html https://www.nbcrightnow.com/news/mother-mourns-the-tragic-death-of-6-year-old-daughter/article_567fd976-7186-54eb-893d-628da00eb41f.html
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