For One Daughter, Mother’s Day Honors Her Mom’s Survival

“She finally said to the officer, ‘Yes, he hit me’ and we were taken away to a shelter. Luckily for us, it did not end in death.”

By Joy Diaz & Laura RiceMay 9, 2018 1:43 pm| ,

“Very young, I would notice that something wasn’t quite right with my parents,” says Leslie Rangel, an evening anchor and reporter at KWKT Fox 44 in Waco. “But I would go to sleepovers and see other parents the way they would interact. It was just different than the way my parents would interact. There wasn’t that lovingness. I just got married and I can just think about how much I love my husband. As a child, seeing that in other parents, then I would come home and not see that in mine.”

“There were times where I remember being little and my mom was crying, laying in bed, sometimes naked, and I would ask, ‘What happened?’ and she would be like ‘Nothing, sweetheart. Nothing, sweetheart.’ And now as an adult looking back, I can’t even fathom what had happened to her.”

“I think the big culmination that happened was when I finally witnessed him beat her,” Rangel says. “It was just this feeling of ‘What just happened?’ My mom says that I called the police. Even though she was legally here in the U.S., my dad had somehow made her believe that he could get her deported and made her believe that he could take away her children. And she finally said to the officer, ‘Yes, he hit me’ and we were taken away to a shelter. Luckily for us, it did not end in death. But as a journalist, I’ve reported on so many instances where domestic violence ends in death.”

“When you see photos of when I was younger with my mom, she looks very sad. And when she separated and finally left my dad after he was abusive with her,” she says, “there’s no other way to put it, she really did blossom like a butterfly.”

“Mommy, on this Mother’s Day I just want to say thank you so much. You have taken us from brokenness into wholeness. And I am just so honored to be your daughter and so honored to be able to tell our story of survival.”