September 14, 1960

Sweet lil baby Me

Sweet lil baby Me

Masita - Copy

Masita at age 16

I was born that day to two parents who had moved from the Hell Mouth, away from family, and all that they knew in order to provide their children with a life that would not include migrant work. I’ll tell the story of my maternal grandparents rise and fall from poverty, to prosperity, back down to poverty on another day. But today, I’ll focus on Masita  and Chico. Young, uncertain, and leaving a life where everyone was Mexican-Catholic to the land of W.A.S.P. and prejudice.

Chico at age 18

Chico at age 18

My mom learned English at age 12. Although I could not hear it, everyone (including her) said she spoke English with a Spanish accent, her syntax and semantics were flawless but darn it, she never did get the difference between “ch” and “sh” down, and was good natured about her grandchildren exclaiming “Grandma! It’s potato CHips! NOT potato Ships!” My dad learned English at a much earlier age and speaks it flawlessly.

I was fourth born, but the third living daughter. The story of my older sister’s fatal birth is also a story for another day. There were to be a total of nine children in our family. Seven girls and the last two boys. It was a crowded, noisy household filled with silliness and dysfunction. But, in spite of all of that dysfunction there was always a sense of connectedness. A sense that if you got into trouble, there would be family right there to bail you out and make you eat crow simultaneously. Time passing has driven us further apart, rather than closer together. Too much pain, betrayal and incrimination to be healed at this late date. I had made efforts to heal the rifts in the past and came out bloodied and bruised, so I’ll not go there again.

But, as I sat  home on Monday, receiving calls from my beloved spawn, brother and from Chico, an overwhelming wave of sadness rolled over me and I’ve not been able to shake it off. Tears come and dry but the crushing pain in my chest has not lessened, so I turned to prayer and the Holy Mother seeking solace and comfort and wisdom.

Mother Teresa Prayer to MaryIn my prayer, which was swiped from Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, it was revealed to me the cause of my sadness. I no longer have a life of connectedness. At this time, with the great difficulties in my marriage, my children leaving the faith and pursuing personal decisions which break my heart, I find that I don’t have a sense of me, a sense of this who I am and this is my tribe.  I know I am loved. I know I have two IRL friends whom I can count on without reservation as well as very nice acquaintances who are happy to socialize. But, in all of this I feel like my ship has become unmoored and I am alone and isolated.

Thankfully, at this time my connection to Christ and the Blessed Mother is blossoming. My prayer life is rich, and my sense of knowing God is greater than ever. But, as I go through my day and my familiar path my heart is aching with a loneliness and sense of isolation which is crushing.

I wish I knew why.

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Linking Arms…

                           

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      Sometimes, when in deep prayer, I have what I call dream visions.  They are not dreams of realistic imagines but rather more like animated folk paintings. Much in the style of the one I have here – very beautiful but obviously not something from this reality.

A few weeks ago, I was in deep despair and sadness. There is a lot of back story to that despair, and if not for family and two very dear friends (Shirley and Ben-Ben) I don’t know what would have happened to me overall. But it was through the love of people that I was able to pick myself up eventually and move on with my life.

Right now, it seems everyone I know is having such struggles!  Health, family, financial, employment, social…you name it, and it seems as if forces beyond our control are doing everything they can to beat and bend us under these external pressures.

So, I was in prayer and meditating, especially upon Shirley and Ben-Ben. Asking God to please step in and give blessings. To please work His miracles and extend them upon us because, I’m sorry, sometimes the pressures of life ARE too much to handle!!!

And so, in the midst of this prayer, I suddenly was up so very high in the sky and looking down on this large valley. In this valley were so many people who were all trying to reach a destination but there was such an awful wind! A wind which was pushing them down, buffeting them from all directions, keeping them from their destiny.  I watched these little figures attempt to stand, only to be then violently pushed to their knees over and over and over again. So much hopelessness and despair!

I implored God to help them! Where was He? And all of sudden one of the little figures reached out and strongly and forcefully linked his arm with the next person…who then reached out and linked their arm with the next person and so on and so on…until there was this little concentric circle of people, standing tall and strong against the wind. The wind was still just as violent, but because this linking of people was so tight, so firm, so deliberate that all the wind could do was blow around them. All of them were safe. All of them were taken care of and I realized what He was telling me…

If we all link arms and securely lash ourselves together…if we all provide that support and care and love, then nothing bad in life, nothing external in this world, can ever push us down or keep us away from who we are, what we want, what we need, what our heart desires. Nothing.  

God was telling me that WE are here to do His work and WE can provide for each other and none of us need be alone, we just need to reach out and link ourselves together and more importantly allow others to link their lives with ours. Prayers are then answered. Miracles are then received. 

I invite you all to reach out and link your arms and form your circle of strength…God is with us and in each of us and we, by doing this, will be the Eucharist to each other…