“I became their mother, their father, and their sister at the age of 17,” writes the young girl, recounting the difficulties she had to face and how she continued to live after the tragic events.
After a horrible event separated her family, neighbors came together to help them reunite.
Cancer is what claimed the life of Lisa Smith, the mother. Father – Alexander Rodriguez, passed away shortly after due to complications from the illness.
Samantha Rodriguez, now 20 years old, became the mother, father, and sister to her five younger siblings, aged seven to sixteen: Destiny, Bella, Michael, Brenda, and Milagros.
Working as a waitress at Disney Springs in Orlando, she provided for their financial needs.
Rodriguez admitted that the accelerated process of growing up was not easy, as she says, “It can be difficult to determine when to act as a parent and when to act as a sibling in a given situation. Sometimes, I feel like I’m all alone.”
The young girl stated that, despite her fears and doubts, she was fully prepared to take on such responsibility.
“Since no one in our family could provide for each of us, I made the decision to do my best to help my brothers and sisters. I never imagined that there could be at least one disagreement among us,” Rodriguez admits.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office was touched by the announcement. For this reason, they decided to uplift the Rodriguez family’s spirits by taking them on a tour of the facility and offering them various gifts, including toys and clothes.
When the family arrived by public transportation, not in their own car, as they simply didn’t have one, the sheriff’s office decided to address this issue through a charitable organization. In fact, the search for sponsors yielded some results.
After receiving donations from several unidentified individuals, the sheriff’s office encouraged the family to come back in a few months so they could provide them with a brand-new car.