Judy Robles is a Latina Still Standing

Judy Robles is an example that blessings can sometimes come in disguise, from being a teen mom at the age of 16 to being a motivational speaker and a single mother of five. Her story will encourage and inspire you, as it does me. It’s a message about overcoming life’s most difficult challenges.  Through my own journey and listening to Judy’s story, I have learned that it’s not the difficult situations that determine our character but rather it’s what we do with life’s difficult situations that define us.

Judy Robles was just 16 years old, when she gave birth to her first child. Her life took an unexpected turn, when the child’s father decided to leave — Judy was faced with a tough situation – having to raise a child on her own, as a teenager.

On July 20, 1988, Judy gave birth to her son. She wasn’t prepared to learn the news about her precious newborn baby boy. Shortly after giving birth to her son, Judy’s parents walked into her hospital room crying and said: tu hijo no tiene una pierna, they told her that her son was born without one of his legs. Imagine being 16 years old, with a newborn missing a limb and feeling the impact of abandonment and motherhood.

That day Judy made a choice. She chose not to allow any of her circumstances to cause her to break. She determined to not give her child up for adoption to her parents, who had offered to raise him as her brother. She said “he is my child and I will love him and I will raise him.” And she did just that. She faced the obstacles head on and successfully raised her son to be an independent and strong individual. Last month her baby boy was inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame and given the Medal of Courage Award. Anthony is an outstanding athlete who holds an impressive wrestling record. His last year at Arizona State University, he went undefeated with 36 wins and won the NCAA Wrestling Championship at 125lbs. He was also given the prestigious Jimmy V award for Perseverance and named Best Male Athlete with a Disability at the 2011 ESPY Awards.

As Anthony accepted his award at the ESPYs, he gave credit to his mother for having encouraged him to not give up his dream of wrestling, because when he offered to quit school to get a job and help her and his sibling his mom wouldn’t let him quit. She encouraged her son to keep living his dream. And through her support and encouragement, Anthony now has an even more inspirational story to share with the world.

Judy recently faced more difficult obstacles. She lost her husband to a divorce, she lost her home and she lost her health for a while – but she didn’t quit.  Even though life hasn’t gotten any easier for this single mother of five, she continues to move forward and she gives credit to her strong faith, friends, and family for helping her to remain steadfast.

Judy’s story is about a dedicated single mother who didn’t allow life’s trials and tribulations to knock her down and keep her down. It’s a story about faith. It’s a story about courage. And like many other Latina single mothers, she continues to work hard to support each of her children in pursuing their dreams.

Her determination and strength makes her a true Latina Still Standing.

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Latina Mothers are Priceless and to be Celebrated!

Latina Still Standing Website In the Hispanic culture a mother is the most sacred thing on earth — after God and the Virgin Mary, of course.

My mother (mi madre), Catalina, is a Latina Still Standing. She recently turned 70 years old on February 13. I am not sure what that means to the average person when your mother hits a huge birthday milestone like that, but to this Latina it means we absolutely have to honor and celebrate my mom’s life with lots of food, family and fun.

My mother is the strongest woman I know. She has overcome tremendous odds, including poverty, domestic violence and raising three children as a single mother. Through it all she has remained beautiful, resilient and is always wearing a smile.

Because of everything she has had to overcome in her life I wanted her to feel loved and celebrated on her 70th birthday, so I felt it fitting to bring her closest friends and family together for a day to make her the center of attention and honor her.

(pictured below, mi madre Catalina, 70 years young at her Menudo, Mariachi, Micheladas Y Mimosas celebration with her three children, April, Milo jr. and Diana)

Within a month’s time, I quickly organized a Menudo, Mariachi, Michelada Y Mimosas brunch celebration for her at a beautiful location. Many of her closest family and friends came to eat, drink, laugh and share stories of their beautiful friendship. Some of her childhood friends came from afar, people she has known for decades, who she rarely ever gets to see also joined us.

As the mariachi’s serenaded her and the toasts were made in her honor, I watched her face light up in such a beautiful way – that was priceless to me. It was better than any birthday I have ever had — and it was for my mom, the most influential and special person in my life.

Watch Video of Mom’s 70th Menudo, Mariachi, Micheladas y Mimosas

I am so blessed and grateful to still have my Latina Still Standing mother healthy and alive and this celebration made my her feel so special and loved by everyone who turned out to honor her. I hope that she truly knows just how much her strength and resiliency has affected and shaped who I am today.

Mami te quiero mucho! – tu hija.

For anyone who is stuck in a domestic violence situation, please know that if my mother could leave and survive — you can too. God Bless.

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About Latina Still Standing: Despite betrayals, divorce, hardships and numerous tragedies and losses – I can say without a doubt that I am truly a blessed woman. Thanks to my faith, my family and my friends – I am a Latina Still Standing.

What is a Latina Still Standing?

In my own definition a Latina Still Standing is someone who is resilient. She is a woman who stands strong despite having faced traumatic life-changing events. She is an overcomer and exudes beauty through her strength. She is beautiful from the inside out and she is a Latina who refuses to quit.

Resilience is the ability to work with adversity in such a way that one comes through it unharmed or even better for the experience. It means facing life’s difficulties with courage and patience – refusing to give up. It is the quality of character that allows a person or group of people to rebound from misfortune, hardships and traumas.

I am resilient. I am a Latina Still Standing.

A Latina Still Standing is not perfect. Like many others, she has regrets, she has made mistakes and has hit bumps in the road along the way, but even though she has fallen, she refuses to quit and she chooses to get back up.

A Latina Still Standing wants the best for herself, her family and her community. She is committed to helping other Latinas stand tall and relies on her faith, family and friends to help her get through tough times.

A Latina Still Standing respects herself and others. She smiles in the face of adversity, handles challenges with grace and courage. She knows that strength and courage run through her veins and is encouraged by the other Latinas that have gone before her.

I want to share my story and the stories of other strong Latinas that I have met along my journey. I want to open up the dialogue and share our experiences about how we each have managed to rebound from tremendous adversities and hardships. I want to share how we didn’t let these moments define us. How we overcame and are still overcoming. How we keep standing.

There is a common thread in the stories of the Latinas that I have met and interviewed. Their stories of their faith, families and friendships play an integral role in helping them to stay strong, not to give up and to keep standing.

Latinas have generations of strength and courage in their DNA, they also have a strong support network that consists of madres, tias, hermanas, comadres, and amigas to help them get through any challenge that may arise.

Our faith plays a tremendous role in our resilience.

I know that without my faith in God, I would not have been able to survive any one of these traumatic events that I have endured. I have experienced tremendous loss in my 40+ years on this earth. Losing my two cousins, who were murdered within a few months of each other, surviving my fathers’ suicide, enduring horrible betrayals, a divorce and many other tragedies.

Regardless of it all, I know that I am Still Standing because of my faith, my family and my good friends. Of the three, my faith has been the key ingredient that has allowed me to overcome each experience that has tried to knock me down.

Yet…I am Still Standing.

I look forward to hearing your Latina Still Standing stories and how you have overcome and are still standing.

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