The Journey Continues: Trinidad 'Trini' Rodriguez
My journey this week took me to the home of Ms. Trinidad (Trini) Rodriguez, a talented published poet and respected licensed professional counselor in San Marcos.
Judy and I were delighted to find Trini sitting on the same row of seats at the worship service when we entered First Baptist Church, McCarthy Lane.
During my years as pastor of Redwood Church, I had witnessed her impact through counseling with several of our church members and was thankful to join her in worship at FBC. Catching up, Rodriguez invited us to her new home, the result of a decision she made to sell her 10-acre ranch outside of San Marcos and “move into town.”
In her book, "Trini: My Life of Poems," she shares memories of “a life filled with a single mom’s struggles and perseverance.”
As the oldest of six daughters she was discouraged by her father from staying in school after her freshman year at Bowie High School in El Paso, Texas; yet, at the same time, she was also encouraged by a teacher who recognized her intelligence to continue her education. Rodriguez got her father’s permission to stay in school by vowing to give all her wages to him when she went to work after graduation.
She was the class valedictorian in 1961. Completing college at University of Texas, El Paso, she became a successful educator. After a divorce, as a single mother, she completed a master’s degree in education also from UTEP.
In her book, Rodriguez shared openly about the Hispanic culture of her youth and the roadblocks she faced from within her home and neighborhood for wanting to be educated prior to marriage.
She went to work teaching in the white-Methodist church’s community center built in the middle of the “barrio” of El Paso. As her father’s beloved child, she wanted to stay close to the family and uphold the promise she saw in other women of her heritage.
As a child, she had watched the shameful treatment two white attendants gave her father when he stopped at their gas station to ask for water for his truck during the family’s migrant work pulling cotton. She says, “I have worked hard to live without a chip on my shoulder. I will be judged by my skills and education and not gender or race."
Rodriguez, even during her teaching career, gave many volunteer hours to counseling. Feeling the call to make this her life’s work, she earned four other licenses besides professional counselor in order to set up her own private practice. As she says, “It is who I am. It is my vocation.”
Always a scholar, she enjoys keeping her five Texas licenses current through new coursework and travel to professional meetings.
Outside of work, she delights in her three children: Veronica Lagred, Elizabeth Brown and Raul Gallardo and her lovely grandchildren.
She loves God and had a hard time choosing just one Bible passage to share as her life verse, but here it:
"…he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
Rodriguez assists her clients with ways to remove their burdens and throw them away.
"Trini: My Life of Poems" can be found on Amazon.