Both Holly Hubbard Preston and her friend Clara are making sure their children get a higher education. But what Clara has sacrificed to do so is astounding.

Last month my husband and I sent the last of our three children off to college. It was a bittersweet milestone that many a Northern California parent will pass this fall. Though I miss my daughter, I can’t complain. I had 18 solid years with that kid which is a lot more than my friend Clara had with her two boys.

When Clara came here from San Salvador as an undocumented worker 11 years ago, her boys were six and 15. Their father, to whom Clara is still married, stayed behind to raise their sons while she provided for their family in absentia. Heart wrenching as it is being away from her family for years on end, Clara stands by her decision to come here. Because of her sacrifice and hard earned dollars, Clara’s husband and sons are able to afford a safe place to live away from the violent street gangs that shot and killed her nephew five years ago. Though she hasn’t prepared a meal for her family in over a decade, Clara says she’s put plenty of food on their table. Beyond food and shelter, Clara has provided her sons with something she never had that will change their lives forever —higher education.

Clara’s eldest son, now 26, is a college graduate with a degree in computer science and a white-collar job. Her younger son, who is 17, an aspiring engineer, will start his university studies next year. As with her older son, Clara’s committed to covering his $4,000 tuition. If all goes well, he’ll earn his degree and Clara can go home. Until then, she’ll work as much as she can and continue to speak daily with her family.

I used to think I wouldn’t trade one moment with my three children for anything. Then I met Clara, who gave up countless moments with her sons in order to give them a safer, better life.

Now I’m not so sure.

With a Perspective, I’m Holly Hubbard Preston.

Holly Hubbard Preston is a North Bay writer.

More in category

Ashima and Darin Discuss Co-Parenting | Ready to Love | Oprah Winfrey Network Ashima and Darin Discuss Co-Parenting | Ready to Love | Oprah Winfrey Network
October 11, 2019OWN
What Hollywood Still Needs To Learn About The Success Of Diverse Films What Hollywood Still Needs To Learn About The Success Of Diverse Films
October 11, 2019HuffPost
13 Amazing Photos You Missed This Week 13 Amazing Photos You Missed This Week
October 11, 2019HuffPost
"Coming Out" On The Oprah Show: 25 Years of Unforgettable Guests | The Oprah Winfrey Show | OWN
October 11, 2019OWN
11 Ideas For Non-Cheesy Themed Family Halloween Costumes 11 Ideas For Non-Cheesy Themed Family Halloween Costumes
October 10, 2019LittleThings
Here’s How Bucket Filling Can Help Children Grow Into Kinder Human Beings Here’s How Bucket Filling Can Help Children Grow Into Kinder Human Beings
October 10, 2019LittleThings
12 Ways To Decorate Your Pumpkin When You Don’t Feel Like Carving It 12 Ways To Decorate Your Pumpkin When You Don’t Feel Like Carving It
October 10, 2019LittleThings
Suzy Amis Cameron on Founding the Sustainability-Focused MUSE School | SuperSoul Sunday | OWN Suzy Amis Cameron on Founding the Sustainability-Focused MUSE School | SuperSoul Sunday | OWN
October 10, 2019OWN
The Wake-Up Call That Led Suzy Amis Cameron to Adopt a Plant-Based Diet | SuperSoul Sunday | OWN The Wake-Up Call That Led Suzy Amis Cameron to Adopt a Plant-Based Diet | SuperSoul Sunday | OWN
October 10, 2019OWN
Boy Who’s Been Struggling With Parents’ Divorce For Years Realizes It Could Make Him Stronger Boy Who’s Been Struggling With Parents’ Divorce For Years Realizes It Could Make Him Stronger
October 10, 2019LittleThings
Imposter Syndrome Hits Harder When You’re Black Imposter Syndrome Hits Harder When You’re Black
October 10, 2019HuffPost
Positive Energy For Attracting Your Ex | 4 Ways Positive Energy Can Attract The One You Love Positive Energy For Attracting Your Ex | 4 Ways Positive Energy Can Attract The One You Love
October 10, 2019Love Advice TV
I’m Here I’m Here
October 10, 2019KQED
Kevin Bacon And Kyra Sedgwick’s Style Through The Years, In Photos Kevin Bacon And Kyra Sedgwick’s Style Through The Years, In Photos
October 09, 2019HuffPost
7 Reasons To Let Girls Choose Their Own Clothes 7 Reasons To Let Girls Choose Their Own Clothes
October 08, 2019LittleThings
I’m A Single Mom Who Dates And Yes, My Kids Are Alright I’m A Single Mom Who Dates And Yes, My Kids Are Alright
October 08, 2019LittleThings
People of the Sun People of the Sun
October 08, 2019KQED
Hardworking Mom Gets Surprise Of A Lifetime When Daughter Gifts Her A Huge Chain Of Money Hardworking Mom Gets Surprise Of A Lifetime When Daughter Gifts Her A Huge Chain Of Money
October 07, 2019LittleThings
10 Girls Who Are Changing The World With Their Words And Actions 10 Girls Who Are Changing The World With Their Words And Actions
October 07, 2019LittleThings
A 911 Dispatcher Was Able To Talk A Couple Through Delivering Their Baby In Their Own Bathtub A 911 Dispatcher Was Able To Talk A Couple Through Delivering Their Baby In Their Own Bathtub
October 07, 2019LittleThings
Corp Goths: What It’s Like To Be A Grown Goth In The Workplace Corp Goths: What It’s Like To Be A Grown Goth In The Workplace
October 07, 2019HuffPost