By: María Isabel Flores •
Alma Michelle Escoto, hija of Gloria and Reyes Escoto, hermana de Misty and Wendy Escoto, y más importante aún, madre de Dante y Paulo, lost her battle with ovarian cancer on January 17, 2012.
Since birth, Alma Michelle was loved by many for her sense of humor, her positive energy, and her courageous attitude. She had a talented singing voice and a smile that would light up a room when she walked in. Not only was she a joy to be around with, but was an exceptional writer as well. The strong emotions that she wrote with allowed the readers of her poems feel what she was feeling. Michelle attended elementary, middle school and high school in Los Angeles and studied Spanish Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She then went on and earned a teaching credential from Chico State University. She felt her true calling was to become a teacher.
On an unfortunate date in February of 2011, Alma Michelle was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The cancer affected her daily life. It began wearing her out and exhausting her energy as time progressed. In March of 2011, Michelle began chemotherapy and had surgery in June to remove the tumors. But shortly after, the cancer returned and started taking over her body as time progressed. Alma Michelle always had a positive mindset before and after her surgery. She continued to smile, laugh and cherish her time con su familia. Su hermana Misty describes her como su mejor amiga, y Wendy, su hermana mayor, describes her as an angel sent from heaven. She says she had an enormous heart that wanted to help others even when she was battling the disease. Sus padres described her as a wonderful and very kind daughter. Her sons Dante y Paulo thought of her as the best mom in the world. Her mother was very proud because she was a great mother to her children, a generous daughter, and a loyal friend. Alma Michelle will truly be missed by her family and friends. Alma Michelle: una verdadera luchadora.
In memory of Alma Michelle, here is one of her poems
Imagina……que observas al mundo desde una caja de cristal que nadie mas ve, sólo tú. Vez como la gente sale, se divierte, se ama y tú te quedas dentro de esas cuatro paredes tan frágiles; pero para ti son impecables. La puerta nunca esta cerrada y puedes salir cuando quieras pero el miedo te mantiene allí…El miedo es un seductor alto, obscuro, guapo y tóxico. Te convence que eres inútil y que al salir de la prisión, en la cual tu misma te has condenado, no vas a sobrevivir. Es mas, buscas meter a otros dentro de tu pequeño mundo y solo sacas las manos y estiras los brazos…pero se empaña el vidrio, el aire se va compartiendo y reduciendo…te estas ahogando pero las ganas que tienes del contacto te mantiene estrechando los brazos y buscando más compañía. La soledad te convierte en una adicta al contacto humano; pero te atas al miedo y dejas que te siga cogiendo cada noche, matando tu poder y valentía…no puedes ni quieres salir de donde estas. Los cuerpos se sofocan dentro de tu cajita, empañada y claustrofóbica…pero tú sigues estrechando las manos…