Really. I never wanted to be mediocre. Life just lead me this way. I always thought I just might have escaped my family's dramatic style of living, and actually do or become someone important. In my family, there is always someone dead, or dying, or pregnant, or forsaken, or in some kind of doomed relationship going nowhere, or... you know, imitating another Mexican soap opera you might see on tv. There are points in my life where I wondered if these Mexican soap opera's emulate real life or whether we emulate the soap operas.
Maybe, my family and other Latin families just have a flare for the dramatic. My mom often begins conversations with "Que crees?" which translated exactly means what do you believe or think, which really means you won't believe what is going on now. It is usually followed by a deep breath from her and a sudden loss of air by me. This of course, is never a real huge clue on the gravity of the situation she is about to explain. Sometimes, it means someone is newly pregnant, or received some unfortunate medical news, or someone lost something, and on a few occasions, it means that someone has actually had some fortune come there way: a new house, new job, a new car. If we are having a run of these conversations, which is usually the norm for our family, she will begin the conversations with "Y ahora que crees?", "and now guess what". Is my family doomed to be miserable? Is it a string of unfortunate luck, poor decisions, or a combination of both? Is it a case of the blind leading the blind? Boredom, maybe?
This family I speak of, this family I was born in is made up of two uncles, five aunts, and my mom. All aunts and uncles, and including my mom, are all diabetic. I have had one aunt and one uncle die of complications from diabetes, and another aunt burn to death at age seven when her dress caught fire while attempting to cook. Her school had sent her home early for bad behavior. My grandmother lost many other uncles and aunts I never knew as babies from pnemonia and other childhood illnesses- my grandmother, the one who married an already married man without her knowing. Something she didn't discover until after her fifth child with this man. A man rumored to have blue eyes, fair skin, and a broad noses just like my boys.
I hope so much more for my boys than I have accomplished. I hope they can escape this inexplicable tether of doom I feel like I have to my family. When I met my husband, I thought grabbing a hold of his family, and its normalcy would help me break free, but its force at times feels much too strong. For someone who has never been in the places I have been growing up, my writing this now may seem like one huge pity party and maybe it is, but if you have been one of the unfortunates, you will know what I speak of. It is much easier to stay on top, than it is to make your way up. I didn't get very far up, but I hope my children will someday be able to.
I have been so much more fortunate than my own mother. I have married a good man who is not an alcoholic, who has aspirations for great things, who treats me like an equal, and is there to help me - who loves me and tells me so. I have the education she never got, but always wanted. I have married into a family she always wished she'd had, but never did. She reminds me of this during my many pity party sessions with her. I realize now, that to her, I am progress. I may not be on top, but I am well on my way there.
Hopefully, my children will reach the summit- way up above the clouds letting go of the tether of doom while keeping hold to the enormous tether of love I also feel I have to my family. The love that has bound our family through space and time. A love that is still so real, and huge, and palpable so many hundreds of miles away. If nothing else, I can say that I have been well loved, and I hope that I have been successful in my repayment of this love to my children, my husband, my mother, my father, and the rest of my family and friends. I guess after having written all this, maybe my glass is more full than I care to believe. In there lies the power of writing, if only to be heard by myself- a stream of thoughts that began in one place and ended in another.