In early April, I lost my housekeepers, Luciana and Alain Matias. They moved back to Brazil. Actually, Luciana and the children, Edrey (15) and Alaiana (13) had gone back to Brazil ten months earlier. Luciana had taken the children in June 2009 because she wasn’t feeling healthy, and she needed to go to the doctor and get some tests done. Then, once she was out of this country, she found she couldn’t get a visa to come back.
So Alain stayed here, working, and trying desperately to get his family back to America. Eventually, though, the lawyers in Brazil reported that Luciana and the children weren’t getting visas anytime soon, so Alain had to return to Brazil, too.
Luciana and Alain are beautiful people, with gentle faces, sweet smiles and a strong, cheerful work ethic. They both have gorgeous singing voices and often I would come in the door and hear them singing hymns, the rhapsodies floating down the staircase from different parts of the house. On those days, my house felt like a cathedral.
In the last day Alain was here, I learned more about him than in the years he and Luciana worked in my house every week. As it turns out, Alain is a minister in the Assembly of God Church, and he has also invented ten industrial machines, including an industrial smoke & dust eliminator. He proudly showed me his very impressive website www.industrialmachinerycreations.com. I was ashamed I’d never asked about his life before.
Now Alain, Luciana and the kids are back in Goiania, Brazil, a city of 1.2 million people near Brasilia. The kids miss all their friends are here in Georgia, and I’m wondering if Alain will be able to sell his machines and how Luciana’s health is. Goiania is supposed to be pretty, but also a city of tremendous economic inequality. I guess the Matias family is getting used to that.
Before Alain left, I gave him $100 and told him I wanted to write about his family. I’m not sure what the answer is on the whole immigration question, but I do know one thing for sure. When we’re turning away wonderful, talented, hard-working, honest people with voices like angels — that can’t bode well for our future. America is so much better with the Matias family in it.
this is beautiful Betty Londergan,
i saw you very few times, but, my mom and my dad are very thankful for everything that you helped them with when they needed, and i’m sure they’ll remember what you did for them their whole lives. When we first got to the Unided States, we didn’t know how to speak english or do the basic things that are necessary, and you were one of the people that cought us when we were falling, and helped us, and we are thankful for that. Being in the United States was a great experience for us, and i hope that what we learned, will be used in the future, for example, i learned english fluently, so i hope i get a career that envolves english, that will be great; my brother, learned to play the saxophone, and the electric guitar, and the results of that, so far, it’s pretty good, he’s been playing with his band here, and getting quite a good amount of money for it too; my dad, he’s doing some of his crazy inventions, but in the end, it’ll turn into something that will bring him and alot of people benefits, and as always, making everyone laugh; my mom, the nice person she always were, and she’s doing great when it comes to her health, she’s a housekeeper now, currently not working; well, we are all doing fine; and i couldn’t forget about the voices like angel, we still sing everywhere we go, not caring if we sing bad, or if someone’s hearing, or if someone doesn’t like it, and we, the Matias family, will always have ‘voices like angels’ . Alaiana, Edrey, Luciana, and Alain.
Betty, you will be forever in our hearts, thank you for all that you’re done for us during the time we spent with you,
Alaiana Klaire Matias & the Matias family.
This really touched me. Thank you for sharing it, Betty. One of the reasons that I left the USA and moved to Mexico is because the person I love cannot come to the States. So in order to be with him (a talented engineer that got turned down for a Visa), I have to live in another country. Doesn’t make sense, does it.
I wish the Matias family all the luck in the world. Given their resourcefulness, they probably don’t need it.
Betty Londergan 2702 Mabry Rd. NE Atlanta, GA 30319 (610-348-9279) https://whatgives365.wordpress.com