Everything We Need
Jose’s wife, Maria, was born in a one-bedroom, stand-alone home on the outskirts of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It was a fine little home, but her father, Oscar, wanted a “real” house. So, he worked two jobs—a 60-hour-a-week factory job, and then another 20 hours or so a week as a carpenter.
Oscar saved 50% of his income for over a decade to build his family a four-bedroom house—like the ones in the better parts of town. He put half his family’s savings in a local community bank, and he tucked the other half away in a safe he kept hidden on their property.
On the morning Oscar planned to break ground on his family’s new house, the local community bank shuttered its doors, just hours after law enforcement declared the bank was running an illegal (and uninsured) Ponzi scheme. 90% of the deposits Oscar made were lost. Then, the very next day, their little home was robbed at gunpoint. In exchange for his family’s safety, Oscar offered the rest of the money he had hidden in the safe.
In the short window of 36 hours, the family lost the vast majority of their savings from years of hard work. That night, for the first time, Maria’s mother, Olga, watched Oscar cry. She approached Oscar with their infant daughter cradled and rocking in her arms, and said, “It’s just money. And it’s just a house. We have so much more than that. We have a truly loving home.”
Oscar looked at Olga, dried his eyes, and nodded his head in agreement. He spent the rest of the night with his baby daughter, holding her tight to his chest, reminding himself that he might not be able to give his family the house he dreamed of, but he could continue to give them a truly loving home.
And for the nine years that followed, Maria grew up in that small, loving, one-bedroom home. After the first year, a sister, Andrea, joined her. After the third year, a brother, Roberto, joined too. The memories they share of that time are truly heartwarming.
For example, every day of Maria’s early grade school years, she remembers her father coming home from work just before dinner, giving her and her siblings individual hugs and kisses, and then asking them two questions: “Are you loved? Do you have love in your heart?” All three children would nod their heads, smiling. Then he’d gather them all up in a big group hug and call out, “Me too! We are blessed! We have everything we need!”
With That House