우리의 이야기

메리 데이비스, 재가 요양보호사 및 SEIU 1199 회원

Mery, SEIU member

저는 미국에 도착하기 전의 사진을 거의 가지고 있지 않습니다. 첫 아이가 태어난 후 온두라스를 방문했을 때 여동생들과 함께 찍은 사진 한 장이 있었어요. 하지만 미국에서 일을 시작했을 때 누군가 사진을 담은 제 수첩을 강도로부터 빼앗아 갔어요. 하지만 그 손실이 제가 이곳에서 좋은 삶을 사는 데 방해가 되지는 않았어요.

As a young girl growing up in Honduras, all my friends had boyfriends. Lots of men were in love with me, but I told them, “Leave me alone. I’m studying and playing basketball and playing in the band.” Eventually, I married a man I liked, but didn’t love.

When I was 13, I dreamed I would marry an African man: tall, handsome, with a strong nose, who wore clothes of gold, champagne, and orange, with a black hat. This dream would come true after all, but not until 30 years later.

My American story really begins with my dad, who put in the papers for all of us. Although he was my stepfather, I called him “dad” because he raised me. He worked hard for us; no one could tell him we were not his “real” children. I am who I am because of him, and I promised to take his last name, Davis. My mother and younger sisters moved to America first. They left when I was 18 years old, while I stayed in Honduras with my aunt. Five years later, at age 24, I joined them with my husband, Leonard. Together, we had three children.

In our family, every first daughter is named Elizabeth. I’m Mery Elizabeth. My youngest is named Elizabeth Sabrina. I was pregnant with her when I became a U.S. citizen in 2001. Today, she studies forensic science at Howard University, with aspirations to become a doctor. 

My middle son, Robert Lee, lives in Florida, and is studying to become a car engineer. That has always been his dream. I tell my kids, “You have to be somebody in life.” He will fulfill his dream. His son (my grandson) is Robert III—and the third generation of Davis.

Edward, my eldest, was born and raised in Honduras. He lives in Boston, while I live in Chelsea, Massachusetts. I had to fight to bring my son to America. He joined the Job Corp., which trains young people in vocational programs and received a degree in medical records. He now works in construction, painting, fixing apartments, and mechanics.

My ex husband went back to Honduras, and I was happy as a single mom. But my kids always told me, “You need a partner, because we’re going to marry one day so you have to find a boyfriend.” Robert was the one who put me on Facebook, where someone messaged me: “I saw your profile and I liked your smile.” Even though my mom always warned me, “Don’t talk to strangers,” I formed a friendship with a man from Nigeria, who was studying in Malaysia at the time. We eventually started talking on the phone.