Above: Eddie Garcia finds inspiration and a good role model close to home — his mother.
These are the kind of stories that just melt your heart, and stories like these are what I truly enjoy writing about. It hit especially close to me when interviewing for this story. I had a single mother who raised three of us, and at one point were homeless for two weeks; we lived in the street for a couple days. I told Eddie Garcia’s mom that everything would be OK one way or another. My mom made it and it is why I’m appreciative and admire single mothers. Behind every good man stands an even greater woman, and that woman was my mom.
Rio Hondo Prep’s Garcia looks to mother as example
By Miguel A. Melendez
Since he was 3 years old, Eddie Garcia always saw a familiar face working up a sweat.
It was his mother, Martha, who often worked long hours, and it wasn’t unusual for her to take up an extra one or two part-time jobs in addition to a full-time job to make ends meet.
It was that kind of determination and sense of urgency that Garcia admired and emulated.
“You raise me up so I can stand on mountains.”
He’s in his final year at Rio Hondo Prep, where he’s not only taken advantage of every opportunity but also been at the forefront of everything he’s been involved with, whether on or off the field.
The Kares hope Garcia doesn’t let up Saturday night at 7 when Rio Hondo Prep hosts Riverside Christian in the CIF-Southern Section Northeast Division championship.
Garcia was voted toughest player on the team by his teammates last season, and he’s known for his intensity. It’s no surprise, then, why he leads the team in tackles (77) and sacks (4) this season.
“He’s the backbone of the team,” Rio Hondo Prep coach Ken Drain said. “He’s what keeps us together out there.”
But when it comes to his mother, Garcia is about as sensitive, appreciative and loving as one can be.
“You raise me up to walk on stormy seas.”
Martha came to the U.S. at an early age after leaving her native Oaxaca , Mexico. She raised Aurelia, 21; Connie, a senior at Rio Hondo Prep; and Garcia, 18, by herself since her divorce when Garcia was 3. Garcia’s father has since started a new life in Minnesota, and Garcia said he has little to no contact with him.
“But she’s been there all the time,” he said. “I don’t know what we’d do without her.”
The family of four lives in Monrovia. They don’t indulge in much, except when it comes to education.
“We don’t have much and we’re not rich, but I always wanted them to have a great education,” said Martha from her home.
“When they started, I wasn’t sure how I’d pay for it, but I knew I would have to find a way.”