Two deep impressions marked where they used to sit and watch
A Puerto Rican Family Still Torn Apart Months After Maria
canada goose black friday sale One morning last September, Jeancarlo and Jan Miguel Ruiz Nez stepped out of their home and found their neighborhood, on the outskirts of the small mountain town of Lares, Puerto Rico, wrecked. canada goose black friday sale
Canada Goose sale Hurricane Maria had battered the island for hours. But what worried the Nez brothers most was their 46 year old mother, Mariluz, who had been battling breast cancer for nearly a decade and was bedridden. Canada Goose sale
In the weeks that followed, the young men cleared the roads with machetes. They lined up for hours to get gas. But Mariluz’s health steadily cheap canada goose uk declined. canada goose coats Confined to a home without power, running water or cell reception, she was losing weight. The ice that usually helped her cool down had become impossible to make at home, and her oncologist’s office had been flooded and was out of power for weeks. When it came time to do her exams, the generator couldn’t run the machinery necessary to canada goose black friday sale complete them.
buy canada goose jacket cheap Two weeks after Maria made landfall, one of Mariluz’s close friends another cancer patient passed away. Canada Goose Online Because communication to parts of the island had been cut off, Mariluz hadn’t been able to say goodbye. buy canada goose jacket cheap
Canada Goose online “I can’t do this anymore,” Mariluz told her sister. Canada Goose online
canada goose She left Puerto Rico on Oct. 20 on a humanitarian flight to Orlando, Florida. Her boyfriend joined her after a couple of days. A month later, her sons followed. canada goose
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Canada Goose Parka Neither of the brothers could bear the thought of leaving their mother alone. And they couldn’t fathom being separated from each other. Born just a year apart, 21 year old Jeancarlo and 20 year old Jan Miguel had lived together their entire lives. They got up together, went to school together and cooked together. mainland, and the sooner canada goose they finished their degrees, the faster they could get a good job to support Canada Goose online the family. Canada Goose Parka
Over Thanksgiving weekend, in a small, unfamiliar apartment in a city far from home, they made the decision: Jeancarlo,whose graduation date was closest,would return to the island. Jan Miguel would stay in Florida and care for their mom.
buy canada goose jacket Mariluz and her son are among the hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans who fled the island in the wake of Hurricane Maria that destroyed many houses and businesses, and cut off power for much of the island. The federal government was slow to canadian goose jacket respond with aid. An exact number of how many people left the island due to the damage is not available yet, but more than 200,000 Puerto Ricans have sought refuge in Florida alone. Many were families like the Nez family, forced to only send some members away a child after a school lost power, Canada Goose Jackets or a sick uk canada goose outlet spouse after a hospital wasn’t running not knowing when, or where, they’d reunite. buy canada goose jacket
Canada Goose Outlet What may have been temporary decisions at first have since become more permanent and four months later, many families still find themselves divided, some on the island, others on the mainland not knowing when, or if, they would go back. Canada Goose Outlet
By late January, with Jeancarlo back in Puerto Rico, the winding road leading up cheap Canada Goose to where the Nez family lived in the mountains had finally been cleared. Power to their small, one story home had recently been restored. But subtle traces of the disaster remained. The backyard was dotted with pockets of debris branches, planks of wood, metal poles. The neighborhood, filled with palm trees and dense vegetation, still had fallen branches or dangling electrical wires here and there. And homes in other areas of Lares remained in the dark some of the nearly 30 percent of Puerto Ricans who were still without electricity over Canada Goose Outlet four months after the storm.
canada goose clearance sale Inside the Nez house, reminders of Jeancarlo’s family were everywhere. Dishes were piled up in the sink presumably not quite as clean now that his mother was away. Portraits of Jan Miguel and Mariluz lined every surface, crowding side tables, dresser tops and walls. Two deep impressions marked where they used to sit and watch TV. But the doors to their rooms remained shut. Even during the day, the rooms were dark; the shades pulled down; the beds neatly made, as a coat of dust covered the dressers. It was as if the house was in mourning. canada goose clearance sale
canadian goose jacket Most days, he drove canada goose uk outlet home from his classes at the University of Puerto Rico, Arecibo, canada goose outlet where he was studying accounting. He went straight to his aunt’s house, avoiding the empty rooms at his house next door. He babysat his three year old cousin. His aunt made him dinner. Sometimes he slept over, so he wouldn’t have to go home alone. canadian goose jacket
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The family’s two bedroom rental sat buy canada goose jacket cheap in a six story, beige and brown building, canada goose store part of a https://www.canadagoosejacketsoutsale.com larger complex of identical structures that looked nothing like his island home. His mother and canada goose clearance her boyfriend slept in one room, and he shared the other with whoever had come that week to assist in his mother’s care at the canada goose coats on sale time, his mom’s friend, her cousin and four year old son.
Day after day, he woke up in his new surroundings, with nowhere to go. He didn’t have a car, so visiting the handful of family members all at least an hour away wasn’t an option. His limited knowledge of English made it hard to find a full time job, and because his home university had missed a deadline to transfer paperwork, he couldn’t enroll in school either.
Jan Miguel spent most of his days taking care of his mom. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, she had had a double mastectomy and was now getting radiation and chemotherapy to fight the Canada Goose Coats On Sale cancer that had metastasized and spread to her vertebrae. In the mornings, Jan Miguel woke up and helped her get out of bed, brush her teeth and use the restroom.
canada goose coats on sale Throughout the day, he welcomed the nurse who drained the tubes in his mother’s lungs, the physical uk canada goose therapist who came every few days, the occupational therapist who stopped by once a week. Sometimes, he biked to the store to get the odd item they had run out of, or he took the bus to the supermarket, with a small shopping cart in tow. Twice a week, he headed to the hospital with his mom, making sure to ask for a Spanish language interpreter so that they wouldn’t miss any vital information the doctors canada goose uk black friday relayed about her health. canada goose coats on sale
cheap Canada Goose He often thought about what he might be doing if he were back home: Driving to class with his brother. Coming home and cooking one night him, the other Jeancarlo. Being away from his brother was too hard. cheap Canada Goose
canada goose deals “I’m surviving,” he told HuffPost in January. canada goose deals
By late January, Mariluz and her sons faced the same difficult decision thousands of other Puerto Ricans were wrestling with: Whether to return to the island or try to build a new life away from home. Mariluz’s treatment would keep the family in Florida at least until May. Then they would have a choice to make: They could reunite in Puerto Rico, facing a likely less stable healthcare system for her and economic future for her sons, or move to the mainland, leaving behind the rest of Canada Goose Parka their family and the island they’ve always called home.
Mariluz had been feeling much better since she’d been in treatment in Orlando, gaining back 20 of the 50 pounds she’d lost. She wasn’t sure Puerto Rico’s hospitals, which the storm had damaged,would have fully recovered by summer, and even so, she felt that the treatment she was getting in canada goose factory sale Florida was better than what she had in Lares before.