Intimate moments that heal

When I was in middle school, my grandmother and I would often spend weekend nights listening to music on an old little red battery-operated radio that only had AM stations. *

We’d listen to a station that played all the boleros she and my great-grandmother grew up with, sung by artist like Agustin Lara, Eydie Gormet y Los Panchos, Los Tres Ases, Toña La Negra y Celia Cruz. We’d lay in bed singing until we fell asleep. I’d listen to her, and soon enough I’d learn to sing along. *

She’d tell me stories of her unrequited love, Miguel Ángel, or how she’d dress in sequenced night gowns to go to ballroom dances in Mexico City or how she was courted by my grandfather. *

I didn’t know this then, but sharing these intimate moments with my Tita was healing. This kind of quality time with someone who loves you so deeply is medicine. Medicine that was healing the parts of me that felt ashamed for being poor. The parts of me that felt stigmatized for not living in a two-parent household. And all those things that as a kid you perceive make you different and therefore, unworthy. *

But those moments with my Tita taught me that I was worth loving. I was enough. My whole life, those moments with her and all the love she filled me with have propelled me to honor my life, to expect more of and for myself and to love myself as deeply as she loved me. *

May 23rd was her birthday, and all I did was play all those songs we used to listen to on that old radio. I sang all day and I knew wherever she was, she was singing along. *

Spirit sends us Angels that remind us how to love ourselves. We just have to be open enough to recognize them. Even after my Tita’s passing, she continues to find ways to remind me and teach me that I am worthy of love. That I am sacred life. That she is there guiding and loving me…

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