As I was driving to work this morning I decided to turn the radio off and just let my thoughts run. An interesting experience since I usually try to drown everything out with music cranked up just a little too much. My mind drifted back to the time in Tetelilla. I wondered what they were having for lunch today… how they were handling the heat… if the mouse was finally out of our room… how Gaby is doing in school… if Sofia’s granddaughter is smiling yet…
As thoughts swirled in my head, I started to become more analytical. I have always noticed the different dynamics of Latino family life vs. American family life. For instance, Mex is appalled at the idea of putting anyone in a place such as a nursing home, especially your parents. The idea of caring for your parents is so ingrained in Mexican children that there is no other option in their mind.
That leads me to my next thoughts… the idea of pride. It is evident in the way his sisters interact with Mex and Mex’s dad looks at him. You can see how proud they are of him. You can see how much his sisters love each other and are proud of each other’s accomplishments. As we would sit on the beds at night talking (there are no couches in the house they sleep in) his sisters would always be close and leaning on each other and acting like the best of friends. It was so fun to watch and I wished I could understand their jokes and stories more completely.
When we came back to Minneapolis and went to visit Mex’s brother Gigio for the first time, he was talking to me about the trip and telling me stories about his dad. His face beamed as he told me how, in his 20’s his father had been a matador in the bull fighting ring. Then he told me how, even though his father has been so unhealthy for many years, he still owns all of his fields where younger and stronger men in his town had lost theirs long ago. It made me smile to see how proud he was of his dad. It also made me wonder if he ever has told his dad that. Possibly… I know it is hard for Mexican men to express feelings to each other. They are very romantic and caring in their words to a carina or “sweetheart” but have a hard time voicing much sentiment to each other. I suppose that is true of men from any country but I just notice it more now with Mex’s family.
My thoughts were forced to wrap up as I neared the office but I vowed to myself to be more open with my emotions and tell people how I feel about them when I have the chance. Life is short. Enjoy every minute and help others enjoy theirs!