Monday, April 29, 2013

My Abuelita Says...

Usually, I call my Abuelita every day.  We chat for a while, she always makes me laugh.

I was named after her, I believe I have her strength, as well as, her righteousness.  This entry is neither about righteousness, nor strength, it's about LOVE.

I call my Abuelita even when I don't have news to share because just hearing her voice makes my heart happy. The joy she gets out being thought of and acknowledged that's priceless to me.  Some days I'm too busy running around doing nothing or busy doing many things and I neglect to call her so she calls me the very next day.  If you call my cell phone my outgoing message is in English first then in Spanish. The Spanish version is for my Abuelita. 

I'm not her only grandchild yet she makes me feel like I am. 

I know the reverence and love she has for all her other grandchildren; she has Ten (10) Grandchildren (I'm number three), Eight 8 Great Grandchildren (one on the way) and One Great, Great Grand-daughter.  Her most favorite is her first Grand Daughter, I know this for sure but she will never admit it. She says she has no favorites and that we are all the same. That's what parents say all the time, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, they all say all of the children are the same but that is not accurate. The only way we are all the same is in our uniqueness.

My Abuelita has very strong opinions about things and very deep life experiences. I relish all the knowledge she has bestowed upon me and am so grateful to the universe that we are able to still communicate and be in each other's lives.  

When I was in my twenties my relationship status did not matter to Abuelita, she would just beg me to marry so I can have a child. She said she didn't want to die without meeting a child of mine. It didn't matter that I had no desire to be a mom at that point in my life. I wanted to wait until I was in my early thirties to have a child (and I did, well my late thirties.  For me it was the appropriate thing to do. It's what I wanted for so many reasons).  I thank God every day my son was able to meet my Abuelita and spend some time with her. Prior to his second birthday we traveled to see her quite often (children two and under travel for free if they sit on your lap during the course of the flight).

Recently we celebrated her 80th birthday (yes, I know, my Abuelita is very young) and my son was there. My two year old celebrated his great grandmother's 80th birthday with her alongside his grandmother of 60 and his mom of 38.  What a gift.

Abuelita loves to talk about the soap operas she watches and about the beautiful weather. I love to talk about eating healthy food and turning the tv off and having wonderful heart to heart conversations. I wish we lived a car ride away, we would both benefit from the time together for now I thank God I can pick up my phone or an iPod and just see and talk to Abuelita on the computer.  

My Abuelita says I should have another child. She says I should cook dinner every day and I should always ask my partner for permission to go out with my friends.  My Abuelita says when I am older I will know what it means to be a wife. My Abuelita says she hopes to die before she can't take care of herself. My Abuelita says she is proud of all the education I have gotten. My Abuelita says I should keep traveling the way I have because it helps her to feel successful. My Abuelita says I am her little girl and that no matter how old I am I always will be her little baby girl.  My Abuelita says, "Come over and have a cup of coffee with me!" You know what I say, I say, "Si Abuelita! Te quiero mucho, ya voy Abuelita, ya voy!"

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sometimes We Just Can't Ask For More Attention

It's 2:12 am on Saturday morning and I just finished watching the 1988 American Comedy and Drama/Chick Flick/Tear Jerker, Beaches.  (A Quick Synopsis on Wikipedia, in case you've never seen the film. But in that cause just watch it!)

What a film! 

I have been experiencing a bit of sensitivity regarding relationships.  
When I speak of relationships I mean all kinds. I am talking about my relationship with my mom, my relationship with social networking, my relationship with my new friends, my relationship with my four year old, my relationship with my 11 year old, my relationship with my 27 year old, my relationship with my younger sister, my relationship with my older sisters, my relationships with my brothers, my relationship with my aunt, my relationship with my grandmother, my relationship with my dog, my relationship with my neighbor, my relationship with former colleagues, my relationship with my clients, my relationship with my oldest friend of 31 years, my relationship with my newest friend of three years, my relationship with my cousin, my relationship with my uncle, my relationship with my prospective employers, my relationship with my former employers, my relationship with my mailman, my relationship with my creditors, my relationship with my old friends, my relationship with money, my relationship with my partner and mostly my relationship with myself and the world at large.  There are times I feel I don't get enough of the attention or even close to what I give to all of these Connections. All of these relationships are integral to my life. I don't know, at this point, if they all should be.  

With all these thoughts and emotions in mind a scene (a quite poignant scene) came to mind from the movie, Beaches.

Here is the scene: (funny thing is I wrote it out completely so I could transcribe it and then lost it so I decided to do a search and viola, I found it; From IMDB.COM...the internet is such a gift!)

CC Bloom is Bette Midler's Character and Leona Bloom is Bette Midler's Character's Mother.

Leona Bloom: [CC is at the beach, telling her mother that she's left John] What do you mean, you left him? What happened? After only three years, you left him? Was it another woman?
CC Bloom: [rolls eyes] It's not a soap opera, Leona. Everything with you is a soap opera.
Leona Bloom: Tell me, honey. Go ahead. Get it off your chest.
CC Bloom: Something just died between us, that's all. He used to care what happened to me. But he stopped paying attention to me.
Leona Bloom: [Leona shakes her head and starts to chuckle]
CC Bloom: What's so funny?
Leona Bloom: [still chuckling slightly] Never mind.
CC Bloom: Leona, what's so funny?
[Leona's laughter continues]
CC Bloom: Why are you laughing? Tell me why you're laughing! MA!
Leona Bloom: [stops laughing] WHAT?
CC Bloom: Tell me!
Leona Bloom: All right, I'm gonna tell you. You wanna know, I'm gonna tell ya. Why do you think I'm living down here in Florida, huh?
CC Bloom: [throwing up hands] I give up. You like the sun.
Leona Bloom: I don't give a shit about the sun! I'm here because it's peaceful, that's why! You always wanted too much attention! You wanted so much attention from everybody all the time, that you wore people out! You wore me out, you wore your father out, may he rest in peace, by the time you were 15 years old!
[CC looks down... Leona takes her hand]
Leona Bloom: I love you, CC.
CC Bloom: [whimpering] No you don't.
Leona Bloom: Oh yes, I do. I love you very much. But I just... I just can't pay any more attention to you. You know what I mean? I want to... but I just can't do it. And if I were you, I wouldn't leave anybody for not paying attention to me. Because sooner or later you're gonna have to leave everybody. You understand me?

When I first saw this film at the age of 21 I cried, I cried so much for the losses, for the betrayal, I cried a whole lot. Every time I flipped the channel on television and it was on I would stop and watch it.  Today was the first time in several years that I watched it from beginning to end and I must tell you I cried a whole lot less but for such different reasons.
At 21 I was concerned about the little girl at the end of the film but more-so I was deeply touched by the losses of the relationships.  

From the time I first watched the movie until now every single time I have a conversation with someone about Attention, wanting it, giving it or anything having to do with it I always hear this conversation in my head.  This particular dialogue in the film was always intense for me but it seemed funny at 21.  It seemed like the mom was just being mean to her daughter but trying to be coy at the same time. I don't really know how to explain it. Now after almost two decades it seems extremely intense and it has provoked deep thought and stillness.

'DON'T LEAVE ANYONE FOR NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO ME...SOONER OR LATER YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE EVERYBODY.'  One thing that truly struck a cord for me this last time is that this is said by a mother to her daughter. This is the first time in my life that I have watched this movie and I am a mother.  The times prior to this time I was only a daughter, I couldn't even fathom hearing that from my mom much less say it to my child.

Are you a parent who pays too much or too little attention? How much is too much attention? Do you give the amount of attention that feels right or no attention because of the fear of being seen?  Or do you pay too much attention because you don't want to look inward?

If you haven't seen the movie Beaches and you want to, you should!
Bette Midler's Movie: Beaches 1988

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