My mom had a special way of connecting with people. She was born in 1940 and way before social media was the thing to do. I know she would have exceeded the number of “friends” or connections allowed on any of the social media platforms if she had had a chance to be part of them. I often wonder what she would say if she was still alive and knew I was using social media to share her her teachings…The conclusion is always “mija, just make sure someone is inspired by what you do”.
My mom was an open book and never ashamed of her experiences whether they were good or bad, and believe me, she had some really bad experiences in her life. She was so young when she married my dad. Merely 16 years old. Up until then, her mom, my Abuelita Carmen, provided her with everything she needed and even had a nanny and a new dress to put on every Sunday. But when my grandma gave my mom’s hand in marriage, I’m sure she hoped for her to have a beautiful life with my handsome dad and live happily ever after.
My mom’s first marriage was far from ending happily ever after, but I know she learned from every single experience to become the strong and persevering woman focused solely on the wellness of her 5 young children, Luis Antonio, Jose Luis, Marco Demetrio, Martha Leticia and me, Norma Patricia, born to her and my dad, Luis Ibarra.
I’ll always be grateful for her second marriage and for giving me the joy to have a younger sister, Noelia, a younger brother, Jose Juan and her adoptive son, Jacobo. Before marrying Manuel, she had to raise me and my siblings practically on her own and had to make use of connections in her neighborhood. Don Doroteo would allow her to buy groceries on credit and pay when she collected the money from sewing, ironing and cooking. The account was often negative. However, I never saw my mom worried or sad about that.
My mom was friendly and kind. Everyone knew her by name -or by a favor she probably did for them or a family member. She lived by the golden rule and treated others how she wanted to be treated. My house was always full of people (mostly strangers to me) I mean, she took care of all my cousins and looked for ways to use her many talents to help make ends meet. One of them was her cooking. She was able to make a banquet within minutes and feed a whole lot of people from a small container of beans and rice. Simple food was her specialty -probably because we didn’t have the luxury to eat fish or steaks often. I remember some mornings she’d make me “miguitas”, which are fried tortillas with scrambled eggs. She’d send me off to school thinking how blessed I was to have had a delicious breakfast!
Something I learned from my mom that I apply to my life now and see the benefits of doing it every day is to have a friendly attitude, be kind by paying a compliment and expecting good things in life. I really hope to be able to connect with people like she did!