By RAY QUIROGA
South Padre Parade
We wondered if the author of an email that was sent to us some time back subscribed to that philosophy.
The author, a young lady who wished to remain unnamed, even to the friend she was touting,wrote to tell us about her best friend, a young lady and single mother of a one-year-old baby girl.
“My best friend, Lucy Gonzales moved to the Island a year ago,” the writer explained. “She is a 25-year-old single mom who works full time on the Island to support her daughter. She works hard, is educated, is a great person with strong faith and does everything in her power to make sure her daughter is taken care of. She would be a wonderful addition to the Parade, especially with Mother’s Day approaching. I hope that you will consider her to run on the cover and for a short story.”
The email continued to sing Lucy’s praises and the Parade was so moved that we had to answer back with a resounding “Let’s do it.”
When the day finally came to meet Lucy and her lovely daughter Kara at Isla Blanca Park’s Dolphin’s Cove, Lucy was able to muster the courage to ask the question we knew she would ask. “So, you never asked for a picture or anything. I thought you would ask me to email a picture before we came out here?” she wondered aloud.
“Why spoil the surprise?” was the quip.
In actuality, we were so taken by her friend’s email that it didn’t matter what Lucy looked like (the fact that she turned out to be a 10 was a bonus). We felt that we already knew the type of person we would find sitting on that bench at “the Cove,” thanks to the words of her friend. Besides, sometimes you just got to go with your gut, and this time our gut was right.
As our photo shoot was nearing its end, and the sun was slowly setting behind the causeway, this writer finally drew enough courage of his own to ask Lucy the tough questions. “So what’s it like being young, single and raising a child on your own?” “It’s hard,” she quickly but quietly replied, as she worked to contain a fussy Kara who was, by now, visibly tired from an evening of picture taking. But that’s one thing that makes Lucy such an inspiration in her own right. She never complains, never asked for anything, and never feels that something is owed to her. She prefers her independence; she prefers to make it on her own terms; and most importantly for Kara, she is embracing motherhood.
No, Lucy is not about to recommend single motherhood any time soon, but as a Sunday school teacher whose faith is strong, she understands that a higher power has a plan, and that plan most definitely includes baby Kara.
In fact, long before Kara was born, Lucy understood that she was a natural with children and she ultimately received her degree to teach special education. Upon graduating, her professional life took her on a different route and she worked in retail until the Island came calling and she took a job in marketing for Osprey Cruises, which includes promoting the Pirate Ship docked at Pirate’s Landing. “I can’t tell you how much I love my job. I go around and network with non-competitive businesses to promote, bundle and tie-in our cruises with other businesses around the Island. I get to meet a lot of cool and nice people in the area,” Lucy said.