Saturday, January 5, 2008
Before running away to the city with a local truck driver, Maria was brought up in an isolated farming community out west with several siblings and cousins, occasionally attending bilingual classes in a tiny schoolhouse. When the truck driver left her to return to his wife, Maria found herself homeless, unemployed and alone, living 2,000 miles away from her estranged family. It was late autumn and she was five months pregnant with nothing more than a five dollar bill in her pocket when Francis hired her. He put her in a room with another housekeeper and she went to cleaning rooms and laundry the next day. Soon afterwards, Maria was introduced to a childless couple, Mark and Penny, who later agreed to adopt her baby. In Room 505 early the following year, during the city's worst snowstorm, Bonita Ray was born, and every other morning at 9 AM sharp, Penny brings the little one to visit Mama Maria at the hotel.