Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Tribute To Elvira

August of 2010 brought a great loss to my life. I felt my heart tear in places that I don't think will ever mend - I am hoping today will be the needle and the memories of this amazing woman the thread that will mend those places that still bleed a little everyday.

Love - when given so unconditionally and so fully is like a hug that releases all the stress, all the pain, and all the sickness that can fill a body. It puts you back together when you break - it forces you to grow in ways you never thought possible. It is the most refreshing - pure water that quenches the thirst of the soul. Thirty -two years of my life held that kind of love - it filled every crevice - it floated all around me. One of love's thickest threads in my life's name was - Elvira, my Tia - mas que una tia - mas come una abuela. 

Enchanted Hills trailer park - that's where I spent a big part of my childhood - 12 years of it. I googled the word enchanted and here is what I found - fill (someone) with great delight. I have to admit - that place surely was enchanted - I was filled with delight every time I stepped foot through my Tia Elvira's door. The smells of her cooking - those homemade tortillas were the best! The smile that lit up her face - her immense joy at having a visitor. She loved to give - and she did it from her heart with no intention of being paid back. The nourishment that came from her home had all the elements a person needs - physical, mental, and spiritual.

Her words were like bandages to the scrapes and wounds that came from those who didn't know how to love properly. Those who chose to have use their words to break down the spirit if my young heart - that chose to put their ideas of what I should be - should look like - should live like - instead of encouraging me to - well - love me. She did just that, She loved what was there - who I was - without question, She shared her heart - her wisdom from her life experiences, I listened - I only wish I would have let her love penetrate deep enough to become self-love sooner.

Her life was filled with many joys and many hardships. Good choices that resulted in blessings. Bad choices that resulted in lessons that sometimes held consequences that hurt her deeply. She lost. She gained, Through it all - through her dark valleys - she never let Him go. Even when her focus on God faltered - even when her faith wavered slightly - she never let Him go. She never allowed herself to stray too far away. Her Bible was her lifeline - her guidebook to living a life of grace - forgiveness - kindness - mercy - and most of all - love. She told me of a time when she was so tired of life's hardships - unsure of where to turn - what to do next - if she even wanted to continue living this life. Her heart had been broken so many times - she had lost so much - she felt hopeless and betrayed. She loved children - but never was able to have any of her own. The sadness that breaks your soul when that realization hits - is almost unbearable - and no one can understand it - no one unless they also live it. That day - when the pain in her heart was most unbearable - she feel upon her open Bible and cried out to God - cried so many tears - until her eyes seemed to dry out. That day - she began to heal. Oh, she remembered the places that had been broken, scraped, torn apart, and trampled on - but now her remembrance showed her how to build strength. She took God's promises as her needle - His unconditional love as her thread - and began to mend her heart - her soul - her mind - and her body.

I saw in her - His grace. That peace that surpasses understanding - that can only come when we let go of the painful things people do to us - say to us - the painful things we do to ourselves - and say to ourselves.

Her home was small. She didn't have the finest things money could buy. She didn't cook what the high class restaurants call five star meals - but they sure tasted that way. She filled everything she owned - everything she did - everything she cooked - and every word - with LOVE. That leaves and impact - one that has survived beyond her 82 years.

Memories with Love - fresh tortillas slathered with butter or fresh green chile - a bowl of puffed rice cereal - her green bowl filled with hard candy - card games she taught me sitting at her coffee table, solitaire and poker. Gluing puzzle pieces to cardboard - such beautiful landscapes. Watching my first ever telenovela - Cristal. Sleeping in the "cuartito." Every time we were sick - she was there with one of her "curas." Not all of them were pleasant - but they worked. Long conversations - filled with laughter and wisdom, Family was the most important thing to her - she taught us to respect people. These are only a few of my memories with this amazing woman. I hope you have had the opportunity to be blessed with someone like her - hopefully more than one before your journey is over on this earth - and if you are truly blessed - you are that someone in the life of someone else.

Don't be afraid to be love to someone. Share you life - share your wisdom - it may change a life for the better. 

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