It’s the rainy season in El Paso.
Thunder and lightning roar and rattle across the skies this time of year in a beautiful, powerful spectacle. The rain is a sacred relief to the dessert and the people who call the town around the mountain their home. To my family, the showers, the downpours were a reminder that our wonderful Matron was still watching out for us, providing for us even though we could no longer see her at our sides.
A few short months ago, I posted about my great grandmother, Consuelo Herrera, and the incredible life she enjoyed in 103 years. Every moment with her, every smile, and every song shared was one filled with love, a remarkable gift she shared with everyone right to the end. Love was the constant theme of her services. My cousins and family members who spoke, told of the power of her love, her faith, and of her unfaltering loyalty to her family. While she has moved on to the next adventure, she will forever continue to be our guardian angel.
One of the many incredible aspects of my great grandmother’s legacy was the sweet blessings she would give all of us whenever travels were ahead. She’d sign the cross over your head and heart and say her prayers. It always felt like the most sacred ceremony, like her words were truly forming a shield around me that would guard and guide my every footstep. As we were departing from El Paso this morning, my sister posted about how strange it feels to not have received that blessing and yet, both she, my mother and I encountered an unusual occurrence as we were departing: as my sister boarded the plane, the movie announced for the passengers’ in-flight enjoyment was Coco. As my mom and I plugged in my phone in our rental for the first time, to Google-Map our way to the airport, my phone immediately began to play songs from Coco, a dozen songs of probably a thousand that are in my playlists.
After shedding a tear or two, we all knew why this was happening – this was great grandma’s way of giving us her blessing. She was letting us know that even though she is no longer with us, “our love for each other will live on forever,” as the writers of Coco so beautifully said, “in every beat of our proud corazons.”
I am so proud and blessed to have known and to have been loved by great grandma. Her legacy is her love and she will continue to live on through us, so long as we live as she did – with her optimism, her faith, and the unconditional love that she shared with all.
God bless you great grandma. We will continue to sing, as you taught us all to do, and we will never hear Cielito Lindo, without belting it out in memory and in honor of you.