Thursday, March 5, 2009

One day they'll be gone...

I had a wonderful weekend in Houston with Caleb as we celebrated Reese's 3rd birthday.  The drive back to San Antonio was one I will cherish for years to come.  The traffic was light and we were able to enjoy the scenery as we drove along.  We randomly came across a Blue Grass Music station that we enjoyed for a while.  We pulled over for gas and some snacks (awesome beef jerky made locally) in the small town of Weimer.   As I entered the restroom I noticed a tiny older lady and her younger daughter.  Abuelita (grandma in Spanish) was trying to wash her hands but she could not find the knob to turn on the water.  Her daughter chuckled as she explained to her all she needed to do was run her hands under the spout and it would turn on.  Hesitant abuelita tried and stood still as if she were processing what just happened.  As I finished washing my hands I asked where she was from.  Turns out she was from Mexico and her daughter was from Del Rio, they were on their way to Houston then onto Dallas.  With a typical shy smile Abuelita said good bye.  There was something about her that reminded me of my mother.   As the tiny woman walked away I thought to myself, one day they'll be gone, those women who like my mom worked so very hard.  It was interesting to watch as the old and the new crossed paths.  

While living in Veracruz where my mami grew up, and where some things have not changed, I pondered the difference between my mother and I.  She recalls the tears running down her face each time the mid-wife informed her that she had given birth to yet another girl (she had three total).  She did not ever want to have girls, "Life is so much harder for girls."  This was her reality being the third child born in a family of 14.  The two children before her were boys and being the oldest girl in the family she worked the land with her father and brothers in order to provide for those that continued to join the family for years to come.  Mom shares how her frustration continued to grow as every time her parents announced they were going to visit a certain lady friend of the family.  NEVER knowing her mother was pregnant, mom grew to hate this friend her parents visited almost yearly.  "Does this lady not understand that we do not need anymore kids, every time they go visit her she gives them another baby, another baby I will have to help feed, wash clothes for, raise!"  It was only after many years and many babies mom realized the lady friend was her mothers' mid-wife.  

Mom never had the education we were blessed with simply because we were born on this side of the border.  Instead of being in school she remembers sitting on the back of a donkey as her brothers pulled pineapples from the ground and tossed them in her direction.  She would catch them (ouch!) and place them in the baskets hanging on each side of the donkey.  Farming, that is what my mother remembers from her childhood.  Corn, beans, pineapples, sesame seeds, papaya, bananas, mangos, jalapenos, oranges, limes, coconuts, squash, jicama, the list could go on and on!  As she got older she developed great people skills and was one of the best sellers at the market.  While having a conversation with Dona Marina she shared with me how my mom could sell limes like no one else.  "She was always the first one to sell off everything at market and head home."

I challenge you, who are the older women around you, what stories do they have tucked away?  Have lunch with them, listen and learn.  For one day they'll be gone...


  1. I have to admit to tearing up while reading this. You are so right about cherishing the older women in your life whether they be grandmothers or aunts or just friends. Those women add depth and wisdom to our lives if we would just listen to the stories of another world separated from us by the span of time.

    What a great beginning for your blog. Interesting enough, my first blog was about my great-grandmother. How special my grandmothers are/were to me. My only living grandmother is now 100 and a half years.

  2. I'm so glad you are in the world of blogging now!! I will enjoy finding out more and more about such a beautiful lady!

  3. Welcome aboard and WOW! what a great post!
    I so miss my Granny (mom's mom) as I wish to introduce my darling to her; I'm confident though that they have already been acquainted and that Granny speaks to Mikenna in her heart! Its good to think about her/them, those moments make me feel a little lighter!
    Thanks for the reminder

  4. Hi Gaby! I'm SO glad you are here! Last night in bible study, part of our talk was about women who have done home to be with the Lord. We talked about who they were and what they stood for. The differences between their time and ours....

    Funny how we look back on their days and how much simpler it was but in reality, it was just a different difficult. We all have stories to tell but even more importantly, we have stories to hear. Thanks for the reminder!