When we hear the phrase “born again,” we usually think of a spiritual conversion. In contrast to one's physical birth, being "born again" is often symbolized by a physical baptism.
For San Antonio’s Myra, the global COVID pandemic was baptism by fire. After all that she and her family survived, the change that occurred in her is obvious to everyone she knows, and most importantly, it is evident to her.
A first-generation American citizen with Mexican roots, Myra has always been the connective tissue holding her family together. Part traffic cop, part caterer, part motivational speaker, in her household, mama Myra makes it all happen. She always felt a great deal of personal pride that although money was tight, they were able to pay the bills and buy food and clothes for her, her husband and four kids. That all changed in early 2020 as the COVID pandemic tore her life apart. In a matter of months, a three-income household was reduced to a zero-income household and even more tragically, Myra lost her beloved mother, Gloria, due to COVID complications. Seemingly all at once, there was little food, no money and even less joy.
“I felt alone, sad, and hopeless…this was the lowest point of my life. I felt like I would never get up again.”
Like so many people around the globe, the pandemic pushed Myra to her breaking point. Financial insufficiency, coupled with the death of her mother, led to a severe bout with depression and anxiety. Myra felt helpless and hopeless. It was not until the refrigerator and cupboards were completely bare that Myra found the strength to inquire about assistance and found UpTogether. The initial UpTogether cash offer of $200 allowed Myra to put food on the table and believe that her family was going to be ok.
Myra later joined an UpTogether group where she found a community of kindred souls and, more importantly, she found her voice. Known to family and friends as a woman with quiet strength, with support from her UpTogether community, a new Myra was born; one that is driven to make a difference by speaking out about the experiences of her family and others who work hard to make ends meet. Everyone in her life sees the transformation.
“It’s like I’m a new person with a new voice. I have never felt more powerful and more in control of my future.”
Myra is still holding her own and holding her family together. She hopes to be an example to others around the world that life is not defined by how many times you fall but by how many times you get up.