family—four kids, plus Darlene’s mom, grandmother, and several nieces and nephews. Back then, Darlene was a self-employed jewelry maker, crafting earrings and other pieces out of silver. As the kids got older, though, she grew tired of being a silversmith.
selling firewood, the family cobbled together a living. “We had our own house—all we needed was to pay for water, electricity, and propane for cooking. We made it through,” she says. It was a difficult, frustrating time, “but there were more blessings.”
Darlene’s favorite part of the job: Visiting her clients, like 89-year-old Nina Garcia.
In 2002, she told Tom she wanted to work as a school bus driver. He went with her to an employment office, where she signed up to earn her commercial driver’s license. Driving home, the future looked bright. But one week before her test, a horse fell on top of Tom while he was training it, and he died of his injuries. Their oldest child had just graduated from high school; their youngest was 8. The burden of providing for the family rested squarely on Darlene’s shoulders. She took a job driving a water truck for an Albuquerque, New Mexico–based construction company, which laid her off after a few months. She went to a similar job at another company, only to be laid off again. Between Darlene’s unemployment benefits, her eldest daughter’s income as a heavy machinery operator, the younger children’s survivors’ benefits, and the extra cash that her two sons brought in chopping and
She knew that St. Bonaventure Indian Mission offered help to people in the community, including house repairs, food, clothing, and utility assistance, “but I thought it was for people who really needed help.” It wasn’t until the family couldn’t pay their electric bill that she finally went to ask for assistance. While filling out the paperwork, she gave her CDL to the receptionist, who immediately called executive director Chris Halter. A new diesel-powered Chevy C8500 had arrived just one month earlier. It was custom-fitted with a food-grade water tank, as well as a special suspension system designed to mitigate the wear and tear brought on by the reservation’s rocky terrain. But Chris hesitated to send it out for delivery. “I needed someone to take care of this water truck and make it last for a long time.” Watching how roughly his drivers—all men—handled the old truck and the mission’s other vehicles
friend house When you stay at GuestHouse, you’re a guest in our home. Here, parking and Wi-Fi are free, rooms are cozy and beds are dreamy. So kick back, relax and make yourself at home. Our house is your house, welcome to GuestHouse. ;)
Enjoy 20% OFF*
BOOK ONLINE WITH PROMO CODE SAVE20
© 2016 RLHC. All Rights Reserved. *This offer is subject to availability, and can be terminated at any time. Offer is only valid for stays at participating hotels. May not be used in conjunction with any other promotion or discount. Red Lion Hotels Corporation reserves the right to amend, revise, supplement, suspend or discontinue this promotional offer at any time in its sole discretion and without prior notice.
01/11/16 4:57 PM
The Happiness Issue: Jack Black reflects on his ongoing quest for authentic happiness; a guide for mapping out your ideal day from start to...