‘For a brief period, early in my life, things were wonderful. When I was very young my family, which consisted of my mom and dad and my three sisters, lived in Northridge, California on Napa Street. My mother, Nikki Philips, was young and beautiful – she was tall, blonde, slender, and a model at the time. She had big beautiful blue eyes that grabbed you! A perfect match for my father. My father had come to the United States from Guam when he was 17 and still in the Marines, but he was 32 when meet my mom, and his dark good looks contrasted, yet complemented, our mother’s fair complexion. My father’s name was Felix Montanona Garrido. I felt lucky to have the parents I had. My older sisters, Kim and Stephanie, were five and six when I was three. They had a different father than Peggy and I, as our mother had been married before. But we were a close family, always looking out for one another. Peggy, the baby, was a year younger than I. We lived in an old, two bedroom house with a very large fenced yard. I felt safe and deeply loved by my family.’
Teresa Garrido’s life changed when one day her father left her mother, taking her with him. He hoped her around from place to place until he apparently decided she would be better off with her mother. Upon returning her, he made her promise him one thing and that was that she would always take care of her baby sister Peggy. She made the promise and as life went on, she stepped in to rescue her sister more times than she could count.
Peggy was blonde and fair skinned like her mother whereas Teresa took after her father with dark hair, skin and eyes. This difference in looks caused problems for Teresa throughout her school years with kids calling her names and wanting to know where she came from. Peggy was well accepted due to her beauty and trusting nature, which brought major problems when it came to men. Even as a child, she was the target for pedophiles. It became Teresa’s job to watch her constantly, as she had promised her dad.
Teresa loved her father and knew that one day he would come back for her but as the years went on and no dad she quit getting her hopes up. Then the day came that she found out her dad was dead and had actually been murdered. This started Teresa’s search for the truth about what really happened to her father.
Searching for the truth opened doors that some would say should never have been opened, but after reading The Island Calls, I think I can understand the need for closure that Teresa Garrido Roberts may have never found otherwise. I have to praise her for the bravery and persistence she showed throughout her life. The Island Calls is a very involving story and knowing that it was real and not fiction made it even more so.