Brought Me, Prepared me and Pacified Me

20170729_084012It has been a while since I posted in my blog, even though there has been so much that has run thru my mind that I have been wanting to share with others and to express.

My last blog, “Giant Tiny Dancer” published in June was about the childhood memory I had of my mom and her love for dancing and how she taught me to love and appreciate that part of life as well.

It was weird for me to write that post about my mom, the inspiration was strong but it came out of nowhere and in a moment that I should have been thinking about my dad, not my mom.  However, as I look back at all of the events that have transpired since then, I can see the reason why it happened the way it did.

I was dancing at a Father’s Day celebration last June when I had an extremely vivid vision of a treasured memory that involved my mom. About a month after seeing this vision/memory, I got a call from my siblings to tell me that my mom was sick and I needed to go to her bedside, when I got there I was told she had Neoplastic syndrome, which is the first or most prominent manifestation of a cancer.  My Mami, my Giant Tiny Dancer passed away in September.

20170728_225015The vision I had about my mom and her death shortly afterward, gave me a deeper understanding of the type of connection I have to the people that I love, and more likely, we all have. I believe that vivid vision was a message from something bigger than me to my spirit. Something was telling me….warning me…that my sweet Mami was dying, even though at the moment no one knew it, including my mom.

In retrospect, I understand now that the vision was a message. The message was in a way a warning that my mom would shortly be gone from this world, but mostly that I needed to express my love and admiration to her. The fact that I wrote down what I was feeling with those strong emotions at the time, and that I expressed all of those feelings to my mom, was a blessing. I’m so thankful that I did not hold back.

20170729_084328My mom was a very active woman, full of energy, full of life and wanting to do and try everything! I used to call her sporadically to talk and tell her about my life, my boys or just to hear her voice, and there were many times when I called to speak to her to find out that she was not available because she was out helping people. Throughout her life Mami wasn’t the most healthy woman, but she refused to let her weaknesses or sicknesses slow her down. She stayed strong willed and wouldn’t let anything get in her way.  So even when she was feeling sick or weak, she was serving people and working hard. I always thought that she was invincible. However, my Mom…my Tiny Giant…quickly deteriorated and dimmed… absorbed and consumed by cancer.

Cancer is a mean monster.

My vision brought admiration for my mom and a perspective of her that I had never had before, and which I had never expressed to her, either. If I had ignored the feeling I had with the vision, I would have lost the opportunity to tell her how much I loved her, how much I admired her, and how much she meant to me. I am so glad I didn’t pass that opportunity, or that I didn’t dismiss the prompt.

20170728_223336What came to me the night while I was dancing, I quickly transferred to words and I published it. Shortly after I found myself at her bedside and I read it to her out loud the night I arrived at her beside to say my goodbye. It was just the two of us snuggled up together in her bed, while my siblings were having dinner. It was a private moment between me and my Mami…one that I will always treasure. She listened to me read her the blog that I had written about her.  As I spoke the light came up in her eyes and her beautiful smile appeared as she and I were transported back to our kitchen some 40 years ago. As she listened, the story brought back those special memories. and many others as well. We talked about how much she loved to dance, the way she was always dressed so beautifully, her beautiful clothes and her wonderful hats. Her smile got brighter and brighter. After my siblings finished their dinner they all returned to her bedside and we all sat around her bed. We played songs dedicated to her and our memories, we all took turns to choose which songs to play. There were a lot of tears and there was a lot of love.

20170729_083626What I bring from this experience, the vision and the prompt that I had, is that there is something bigger than me, guiding me and directing me. It is important that I follow those little or big feelings. It’s important that I “listen” to that prompt and to do what comes to me as an “instruction”. I need to ignore my pride, my worries, my limitations and weaknesses. I need to take full advantage of the guidance that I’m receiving.  Listening to that vision and expressing what I felt with it to the world thru my blog and especially that I was able to share it with my Mami, gives me a gratitude and a peace that I can’t describe.

The purpose of that greater thing for me… brought me, prepared me and pacified me.

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The pictures of the flowers in this post, are the ones that I took at my sister’s garden and brought to my mom’s bedside to show her with the hopes to cheer her up.  She would look at the pictures and would say: “Beautiful Mija… you need to make a book”… and then will tell me which other flowers I should go to photograph.. I would go and come back with a new shot.

I love you Mami… and I miss you. ♥♥♥

 

Giant Tiny Dancer

20170526_105946I have always been a dancer. I don’t remember a moment in my life when I haven’t danced, even as a baby.  That may sound crazy, but I remember being held by my Mom or my Dad, not sure which one, while he/she danced. I’m not sure if was to calm me down for sleep, or just for the fun of dancing but I have a vivid memory of the room, the light, and “feeling” the sound of the music all around me.

I was recently invited to a party to celebrate Father’s Day. It was a great party, lots of friends, food and music. We all danced and had a great time. The DJ played all types of music, mostly Latin Salsa and Merengue, but he also played Rock in Spanish, Disco, Rock and Roll, the Twist, Jitterbug, and of course the party favorite YMCA. I was having a blast changing my dancing style to the type of music playing.

When the twist, swing and rock and roll of the 50’s and 60’s came along, something magical happened to me. While I was dancing and doing the steps to Jailhouse Rock… l was magically transported to the old kitchen from my childhood home. I saw the unique electric light on the ceiling. I could see the light from the fire peeking thru the discs on the metal top of the wood stove, and could feel its warmth. All of my siblings and I were gathered around a small old radio while my mom, in a dark green pencil skirt, a light green soft sweater, hair to her shoulders, and sharp pointy green leather heels, was washing dishes at the sink. 

20170526_105955The electricity at that time was provided by an old diesel power engine located at the center of the city.  This big, loud engine had difficulty providing strong electric current for everyone in my hometown of San Marcos, Guatemala. It gave us just enough power to give out a soft flickering light as bright as a candle and to power some of the appliances, including our small radio.

All of the same elements that were there on the dance floor had suddenly set my memory alight to recreate that scene, complete with the cozy ambiance  that I remembered when I was a child.  

I looked forward to this time in the afternoon. Always between 5 and 6, it was a time I treasured, not just for the music and dancing we did, but it was Story Time for children on the radio too. I believe it was the same for my brothers and sisters. We all sat together to listen to classic fairy tales, narrated by a girl our age, that later on, in our college years at the capital of my country, she became our roommate.

Before the stories and after there was always music.

As I danced on the floor a few nights ago, in this beautifully vivid memory, I saw a 4’10” woman, in her early 30’s…a fit, beautiful, fun, dancing woman…my mother.  

20170529_111105However, most of my memories of my mom when I was a child were of her sadness, anxiety, and depression. My father and mother had their issues, as do most married couples. Mami often worked 12 to 14 hour days, if not more to help my dad support all six of us, on top of raising us. Sometimes, she would be washing dishes with tears in her eyes, which saddened me.

But when the music came on the radio, the magic happened every time. It didn’t matter how sad she was, if Elvis came on the radio my mom’s tears were replaced by a beautiful smile. She set aside the dishes and dropped everything. She transformed before my eyes into the most amazing dancer there ever was. She grabbed our hands and we all would dance. She did the twist, the bop, the Charleston, the jive… everything. She would even do the Elvis salute at the end of the song when she would slide on her knees. She taught us every dance move she knew. She’d make a circle with all of us, and instruct us on how, when, and where to jump. She taught us the steps to every song. She turned all of us into her own little dance troupe there in her kitchen. My mom gave me a gift that I’ve treasured my whole life. My love of dance. 

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At the party, while dancing and doing the jitterbug, I saw my mother reflected in me.  My Mom, a tiny woman but a giant to me. Her courage, her determination to provide, to create, to make sure her kids had everything they needed, made her look like a Wonder woman… especially in my memory, but a tiny dancer, now that I am older and look back to those times.

I thought about her, and about the many times I have danced away my sadness and my troubles.

I thought about how many times I have grabbed my three boys, and made them dance with me! I hope they will remember me dancing with them as I remember dancing with my mom.

I’ve not always known the best way to express my love to my Jovi, my wonderful Mami. It was easier for me to express love to my dad, I don’t know why. However on this Father’s Day, even though I did think of my dad and I was grateful for the years that he was alive and in my life, at the end of the day, I was thinking of my Mom. I have always admired my mother’s strength, her energy, and her creativity.

Her passion for dancing has blessed my life in so many ways. I use music to meditate, to relax, to work out, to unwind, to express… and while I was jitterbugging on Father’s Day, I realized that I am my mother’s daughter… I am glad and proud that I am.

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Photos of flowers… para Mami.