These past few weeks have been trying times. Sickness hovers over our lives trying to scare us into a corner of not living but existing. Hard times and bad news, make us desperate por tener un momento de tranquilidad. As we hold our breath not knowing what to expect, tears wash out and my heart aches for those loved ones I will not see again until eternity. Not knowing the appointed time, the wait feels endless.
I will not lie and say I’ve sat and “waited” for the day I see my ama again, she’s been gone for over 30 years, but I have longed through the years for that mother/daughter relationship & connection. I have a sister in Christ, my friend who has five beautiful daughters, and oh, I can tell those girls have connected with their momma. Me acuerdo, when I was a new homemaker, “building” my own home. I was barely a few weeks on the journey, I was given a chance to call my ama. I was having a cooking crisis and she rescued me, the stroke she had (a post for another time) didn’t hinder her from coming to my aid.
In her cooking stilo, como todas las mexicanas she set me straight:
Me: “Ama, ¿cuáles son los chiles que se usan para la carne con chile?”
Ama: “Pues ¿cuales son los que tienes? “
I had forgotten those cooking lessons with my ama! The main lesson was work with what you have, but make it work! I wonder if I’ll be able to share with her my mothering experience with my one daughter? Aguanten me por favor, Un poco culeca. Mi ama would see my daughter and fall in love with her immediately.
Y mis hermanas, Patty and Lupe, se adelantaron! They rushed ahead of me and Marina almost 13 years ago and beat us to heavens gates. I won’t pretend that I wasn’t angry. I had quite a few things to teach my “older” sisters and they me. In the middle of my busy life, while we 4 sisters were enjoying and sharing the episodes of life, they finished their race within 3 months of each other. In shock I had to say goodbye for now. Pero sabes, death always feels like that, when you expect it, and while you wait for your loved one to pass, you’re still shocked by it, when you don’t expect it, it knocks you down and takes your breath away.
My apa, no tenia prisa, gracias a Dios , almost took him a century to walk this road on earth. Geographically he was in very small places, almost insignificant, but he broke up much fallow ground and planted many seeds of experience and left quite a legacy of children and grandchildren to carry his name on. Eso! Don Manuel!
He has only just gone home 8 months ago and the void of his departure esta muy tierno aun. In our home our backroom is still “Tatas room”
I will say that I’ve occupied myself with a goal, a hope or God’s plan to see them again.
My Dad’s Prayer of Gratitude
This long season of pestilence has caused me to examine life. What are the things that I’m grateful for? The big things and the minute details of my life that I tend to take for granted sometimes, like my daily bread and the very air I breathe that God gives. It was a solidifying reminder to finds my dads prayer.
For as long as I could remember my apa prayed this prayer at meal times. I can picture him now at our table, ready and waiting to see if he would be called upon to pray.
“Gracias te damos Senor por estos alimentos que no nos hacen falta. También Señor te pedimos por todos aquellos que no tienen alimentos. Ayúdalos y dales la mano, no los desampares. Perdónanos nuestros pecados , pero siempre que se haga tu santa voluntad. Amén”
Sometimes a line or two was switched up, but it had the same meaning:
“Gracias te damos Senor por estos alimentos que no nos pones en la mesa. También Señor te pedimos por todos aquellos que no tienen alimentos. Ayúdalos y dales la mano, no los desampares. Perdóna nuestros ofensas, pero siempre que se haga tu santa voluntad. Amén”
As if someone switched on the lights, I have truly paid close attention to my apas prayer and realized how profound it truly was. Too many times we throw our prayers out to God without any real conviction, especially at mealtimes, were hungry and we’ve been waiting for that good food so were in a hurry. Hijole! Imaginate, as God sits down to eat with us and hears our “Thank you Jesus, bless this food” my fork halfway to my mouth already, I say “amen”. Maybe it’s because I’ve had a good morning in my prayer already that I am careless when I thank God for his provision. Whatever the reason, prayer at mealtimes in my life has been lackadaisical. Once in a while, I whisper in my mind, I really am grateful Lord, y si estoy agradecida! despite my mouthful. My apas prayer has reminded me to be grateful for my life, for the blessings and most importantly grateful for the Blesser.
Aguanta otro ratito while I unpack his prayer.
“Estos alimentos que no nos hacen falta”
Thankful for his provision. These days as many fight for their lives, the very air we breathe is a gift from God. ALL our basic needs are remembered in this simple line.
“También Señor te pedimos por todos aquellos que no tienen alimentos. Ayúdalos y dales la mano, no los desampares”
Thankful that we can approach the very throne of God for our needs and our loved ones. They’re too weak, too tired, too much in pain to ask for themselves, but we can stand in the gap for them. A thoughtful prayer that remembers those that are struggling and asks God to also help them in their time of need. Orita mismo, I can think of several friends, loved ones, and friends of friends that are in desperate need.
“Perdóna nuestros ofensas”
Thankful that God, the creator of heaven and earth graciously forgives our trespasses. I find it interesting that this line for forgiveness is after asking for the basic needs for ourselves and others. Asking forgiveness of our daily trespasses, my apa knew that even while our needs are endless so is God’s comfort and grace. A prayer that humbly acknowledges our sinful state that without God in our lives we would be wretched and lost.
I’m so glad that finally my heart has grabbed ahold of this prayer and I agree with Dad in it and say yes and amen!
Today let these words provoke you into true thanksgiving.