Mexican American Girl Goes To Jalisco

When I was growing up, I heard tiny little snippets about my parents’ lives in Jalisco, Mexico. I would toss these nuggets of information carelessly to a corner of my mind and file them away, like a receipt that might be needed one day. Luego, during those caregiving years of  la tercera edad, my apa at 80 years old was telling his life story. I was hearing him speak about things I’d never known. I took notes and fact checked him, asi es, I googled the info he was sharing, que sin vergüenza! As if google knows more than my apa!  

 I felt like the scales had fallen from my eyes. I wanted to know more about my parents, my roots. Something in me was born. I gathered all the snippets in my memory and I asked my apa for more details. A longing to see the places my parents grew up in sparked. I desired to meet and reconnect with my family in Mexico. I wanted to organize the stories, to share them with my family. A flame of curiosity and discovery had been lit. I wanted to go to Jalisco, Mexico to retrace my fathers experiences and discover more about my mother.

The cares of his life and mine, minimized the fire to a smoldering wick, but it did not go out. De ves en cuando I would make comments about my desire to go to Jalisco one day. Meanwhile, I organized my stories and I gleaned memories from my tia Chepina and my tio Chuy. This kept me writing.  Ben would, in his cool manner, acknowledge that algun dia we might go to Mexico.  I tended to squelch the flame with “small minded” thinking. Es que, it could be too expensive and besides I didn’t really know my family in Mexico, it was just too much to hope for a trip with husband to Jalisco, a family reunion and romance, at our age? But the dream persisted.

As Ben and I have been facing the empty nest we have been working on our friendship. Ahora, now that we’re not so busy with raising children we are “getting to know” each other again. I’ve dared to be vulnerable and share my heart with him. He knows of my hope to write and publish my fathers stories. I’ve let him see and hear that yearning I have about going to Guadalajara and connecting with my family history. 

One nice practice that he has started, has been to leave me an occasional note as he leaves to work. Even though getting words out is hard for him, he knows I need them, so he strives to “dwell with me with understanding” He doesn’t want his prayers to be hindered. ☺️ Fijate, for being a cold blooded Englishman of few words, his notes always stir my heart. His last note is what re-sparked the flame in me. 

“I want us to plan this trip to Mexico as soon as possible. Before NH. I don’t want to put it off too much. I’m praying you can get these stories published and books”

Imaginate, my heart leaped as I noted his confidence in me and his desire to be in all of my life, including the long buried raíces of Mexico. Luego! As I was organizing myself for the day, we both got a text from our pastor asking us to pray for his upcoming Mexico trip. He was going to visit our Missionary couple in Mexico City; Misael and Elma Moreno and I responded in jest “take us with you” He opened the door and de repente!, while Ben and I were busy with our lives, focused on what mattered, like our marriage, the opportunity was before us. Like a whirlwind, the possibilities were stirring me up. Sera posible? When we talked that night, Ben was trying to slow me down, travel plans were not that easy to make, we needed to think about it first.  Pero, before we knew it, we were scrambling to find a family connection and rescheduling his clients. They were willing to wait for their house to be painted. Maybe we would also go to Jalisco? The obstacles were cleared out of the way, and we shopped for good deals on flights. 

The state of Mexico was our first stop. Our missionary couple needed some good ole fashion connection with their church family. I was excited to meet face to face some of the people I had been praying for. I had not expected to get connected with my Mesoamerica roots and before I knew it I was visiting the pyramids in Teotihuacan! 

Finalmente, I went to Jalisco. It had been over 40 years since I’d been to Guadalajara, the land of El Tapatio. there I would reconnect with mi familia.

I was anxious to visit Etzatlan  and El Amparo, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like, what would I see that connected me to my parents? I worried that at the last minute that part of the trip would be canceled, what torment that was! I hoped to see traces of the famoso  American Mining Company, the builders of my apas hometown.

En conclusíon:

Quizas it is silly that to me “going to Mexico” was such a big deal, people travel all the time, plans are just a click away. Yo soy ranchera, I get timid and I fall prey to fear. For me this trip was a pilgrimage. I uncovered some secrets, I found some missing pieces of my parents story, and even better I met family members I’ve never known. Finally, I am able to put a setting to some of the stories my apa told me.

A veces we pray, forgetting that our prayers, our petitions and our desires matter to God. In his timing He answered my prayer. There is a wealth of treasure that I came back home with and I’m excited to share my treasure and get back on track with my book writing. 


2 thoughts on “Mexican American Girl Goes To Jalisco

  1. Mel Aispuro

    Wow, the sequence of events that happened prior to your visit to Mexico were divinely intentional, up to the Englishman’s note (lol) and to pastor extending the invite. Beautifully written. Truly, as I was reading I felt as though I experienced the journey with you.


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