A Kiss For Apa

I was having a conversation with someone just yesterday about her relationship with her mother and well, she sadly described her mother as manipulative. Pero esperate! As a mother, quickly I defended my fellow mother and said, “she just doesn’t want you to move and is glad for the extra time she’ll have with you, she’s gonna find the change difficult” Pero, the quick response was “No. She knows how to manipulate me and get her way” And what did I do? I pulled out my mothering portfolio. Asi soy yo? Do my kids see me like that… then it went to my marriage relationship. Do I use my words and feelings to manipulate? Hijole!

We carry into our new relationships so much baggage, so much old things, hidden things and sometimes we don’t even realize it. Relationships can take so many turns, verdad que si? Some relationships are easier to maneuver than others. Hijole! This sounds like a therapy session huh? Pero, I had a beautiful conversation with my sister this week, it was very therapeutic. She shared with me a beautiful memory and it turned out to be another puzzle piece in my own memories and conclusions of mi ama. I was so grateful for it, through my sister, my ama gave me a useful tool to use as I practice relationships. 

When I was 15 years old, I had stepped into some nasty reality. It felt gross  and I angrily formed judgments, from my perspective my parents weren’t doing things well at all! and our lives shouldn’t be affected negatively. I would take care of my own heart.  I built walls of protection, that weren’t much protection at all! They were ungrateful walls of pride and “stinking thinking” like my pastor says. Thankfully at 18 years old God drew me to him and his reality and He has carried me through the seasons of life. That was almost 4 decades ago and of course as I’ve entered into my own relationships I’ve understood and experienced some of the ugly realities of life. I’ve learned to push back against the lies and misconceptions, face the facts and use the freedom I have to make right and good choices for my life that will affect others.  I do not have to accept what the devil wants to throw at me, I do not have to conform to the ways of this world, even though I live here. 

As I continue to learn to learn and practice good healthy habits in relationships, I am ever grateful for those surprises of healing that come unexpectedly. 

As Marina and I were talking and comparing notes on how God speaks to us and shows us the concern he has for the littlest of details in our lives, we turned to talking about the most vulnerable and sometimes very difficult relationship we are experiencing, our marriage relationship. That relationship that God created for a man and a woman, God said that it was not good for man to be alone. Por supuesto que my latina, novela driven mind explodes at what that first meeting must have been like for the man and his wife. Eve, innocent, batting her lashes and Adam exploding at the gift? The responsibility? The journey? That lay before him. Anyway, back to my story.

As women we yearn to express so freely our love for our husbands, to tell them, to show them, but circumstances or history or baggage inhibit us. There we were on the phone talking about how hard it is to just be free to express our amor, then Marina said, “Don’t you remember the way my mom always kissed dad on the forehead?” Explosion in my head! Like a wrecking ball hitting a strong wall of pride. Y yo dije “What?! I don’t remember that? I never saw my ama kiss dad, never!” And Marina was surprised, because she saw it often. Como? How was it that I never saw that? Pero asi es, some memories stick more than others. For Marina all these years it has been something else she learned from our ama and now practices it and it pulls her through whatever wave wants to knock her down. When things are sticky and difficult. When walls of isolation want to stubbornly climb higher and higher, she’ll do like our ama did and look at her husband and while he’s busy, not even interrupting him, she goes over to him and kisses him on the forehead and it helps her.

I was humbled again at my mothers strength. I again appreciated her perseverance in the most difficult relationship she chose to maintain. I was happy that I could see beyond the “facts” and I told Marina that I too was going to use that kiss to break down a wall. I left that conversation so incredibly blessed for the kiss my ama gave me. 

Wedding Day Details

Just 30 days left of Wedding plan for my son and his girl. Just 30 days for his sister, the unofficial and untitled wedding planner to fuel their wedding day dream, with untried creativity. Thirty more days for the rest of us to help or meddle. Pero, la verdad es que all the detallitos, those little embellishments confound me. I mean, how critical is it that the utensils be ensembled a particular way?  I am working hard at NOT letting other details arrest me. Por ejemplo,  it’s my third child getting married, no big deal verdad? I’m already wearing the mother in law shoes. I know mi hijo won’t forget me. I hope that this strong latina suegra won’t scare his sweet girl. I’m praying that when life settles down he’ll put me in the right place in his heart and with his wife in his arms, I’ll enjoy the newest San Diego Greene couple. 

As the day draws closer and closer I’m stepping back in my own wedding planning or lack of it. Ahora si, now that I’m an abuela, an ‘old married lady’ I have my opinion. Can anyone hear me? Will it matter now? My stomach is jittery again and I’m wondering how’s Ems beautiful girl is handling the wedding planning.

During Engagement:

When I was engaged, I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to behave. I had a ring on my finger, but no date and my “husband to be” was out to sea. I was a busy fiancé writing love letters  to my comprometido, telling him my woes of singleness. I was keeping busy accepting any dinner invite my lonely heart received and as I consumed the delicious tostones and arroz con habichuelas that my Puerto Rican friends offered I put aside the wedding plans for mañana.

Covered in Questions:

At church, at work, with friends, y con la familia the questions buried me and my engagement ring.

“Do you have a dress? Where are you looking? Do you know what style you want? Have you tried on some dresses? Y sabes que, I’ve been getting those same questions again! And I’m just the mother of the groom.

“Who’s your maid of honor? Bridesmaids? Flower girl? Ring bearer? What colors will you be using? I thought white was the only color I needed, ya se, ya se, pobrecita Rosie…I still don’t have a favorite color! Y! Back in those days there was no beautiful little girl or boy, like my grandchildren that captured my heart to crown them flower girl and ring bearer. Maybe I was remembering the uncooperative flower girl I had been.

Where are you getting your flowers? Who’s making your cake? Where’s the reception? What’s on the menu? Did you find a photographer?  Always my answer was “I don’t know”

The Things in Miss Rosalba’s Head

Despite the mountain of  “I don’t knows” the things that worried me were:

Will my familia be there? I was stepping into uncharted waters, marrying outside of mi gente and my wedding was outside of the family’s tradition. Would my ama come to my wedding? I worried that my apa wouldn’t give me away. 

What was Ben’s mother gonna really think of me? My heart trembled, “Oh God, help me”

I needed to figure out how to make a wedding invitation that would embrace both of our heritage. Spanglish was just me and besides it was too uncouth. Although in reality it would have fit right in with my unplanned wedding day details. In the end I chose two completely different styles, English and Spanish. I’m not sure if I asked for advice or ignored it. 

What was I going to focus on when I gave my testimony during the ceremony? Oh I worried that I wouldn’t get the whole beautiful story of redemption across. 

On My Wedding Day:

Mira lo que sigue conmigo, I was unused to too much makeup, and I felt overdone with eyeshadow, ya se ya se. 

My testimony was wordy, did anyone get the revelation that I was a new creation in Christ?

I shared my first meal with my Benjamin, fried chicken and potato salad. I was hungry! I thought brides were too full of butterflies to feel hunger, of course I would be different!

Ben shocked me when we cut the cake, he smeared frosting on my face! And guess what? I couldn’t do it back to him!

My parents gave me their blessing and my apa represented them both on my wedding day. Ama was physically unable to attend, and it broke her heart. My apa was nervous, but his proud regal Zepeda stance sustained him as he stood with me that day. His sister, my faithful Tia Chepina and her family came to my wedding, something I’m forever grateful for. My apas brother, Tio Chuy was there too. He and his wife, my quirky Tia Cuca always appreciated that I included them into my life. My sisters, pillars in my support system were there, making sure they encircled me with protection as I ventured into this voyage. 

Me acuerdo, that the drive up the mountain to see my ama at the hospital was long and winding. I sat next to mi esposo and apa sat in the back seat. Hijole! Was it ok to hold his hand? 

If I Could Do It Over:

What would I do differently if I had the knowledge I have now? Probably everything would change! Pero, so many other little things, seemingly unimportant things remain in my heart, those things for sure I wouldn’t change.

In the fire of wedding planning so many things happen, and so many things are dropped. So much explosive emotions and countless offenses can happen. The best thing I can do for Ems girl is pray for her peace. Emery knows I’m here to help, y gracias a Dios, he’s not hesitating to ask for it.  

Que Dios los Bendiga, with his hedge of protection and peace on these last 30 days of wedding planning.

If I Could Send a Text To Heaven

The Heavy Weight of Loss

Ya se, ya se. Here I am in beautiful San Diego smack dab in the middle of the summer, beautiful city, perfect weather y aun asi my heart is heavy with loss. Circumstances of my life have propelled me into a feeling of swimming for survival. Que dramatic verdad?

My ama, oh how I wish we could talk. I would pick her brain about her marriage and motherhood and grandmotherhood. Ahora si, I see her sacrifices, and totally relate to her tears and her fatigue. Y, I’d pull out the pictures of her great grandchildren, “Mire ama, todo lo que Dios me ha concedido” Oh I know she would cry tears of joy to see my beautiful inheritance. I get anxious at times about my apa. Is he indeed resting in peace? so I’d also have her ask her “Como esta mi apa?”  In my mind I still imagine some of those unspoken difficult conversations, pero, gracias a Dios, that He was with my apa till  he finished his race.  I do want to tell him about Hector, his youngest. The travieso!, his troublemaking days are behind him, I hope he knows that is ok. 

Y mis hermanas, my sisters, I want to assure them, or maybe me, that all is well. 

With all the things to come, I think I’m behaving quite “self controlled”. While I’m not quite Ben (my cold blooded Englishman), I’m handling life. Pero, I’m tending to want to keep on that terrible and wicked stronghold of pride, yet I know it only damages me. If you’re latina, (or maybe pride affects everyone) ya sabes. Hold your head up, if needed, look angry to ‘prove’ you are a strong latina woman and nothing can knock you down. O, if something has threatened you push back, be strong, fight, no te dejes! 

Like I’ve said a few times, anything can trigger mourning, my sister Patty’s birthday just passed, and I asked God if he would give her a message. Honestly, as long as I’ve been Born Again, I have very little knowledge of heaven. Note to self: Learn about the place you’ll spend eternity girl! The streets are paved with gold, Jesus, my savior is preparing my place, there will be no more suffering, pain or mourning. But I don’t know how Heaven functions, I pray and and hold fast to His promises, then one day I’ll be there with my familia.

If I Could Send a Text:

I want Patty to know that our Emery is getting married and she would be quite pleased with the jewel God is making her to be; beautiful, strong, sweet and spicy are the traits I’ve detected thus far. 

Could an unfeeling text, even with emojis, relate my heart in this? I want my ama to know that I understand her now. I want her to know that I regret my disrespectful ignorant attitude toward her trials. I want her to know that I realize how much we kids took a piece of her heart and I’m so sorry I broke it. 

I still want them to let me know how much they miss me, but missing someone is painful sometimes, and in Heaven they don’t suffer from pain anymore. 

The Days Pass Like Vapor:

As time is passing and life is quickly changing, I’m hanging on to Christ, the only one that doesn’t change. 

Coming to America – Fernando’s Story

In this post I’m going to introduce you to el “Chapparo,” my third older brother. His name is Fernando but my apa called him Chaparro, for you non Spanglishers this means a shorty, sorry Fernando I had to clarify. Of course Fernando did not put on that nickname, it was exclusive for my apa and ama. In high school he was dubbed  “Zap”  by one of his teachers. I believe it was a derivative from our last name Zepeda, which every teacher mispronounced. That teacher must have pronounced it “Zapeeduh.” My brother had his own battles to fight while in transition to learning the English language and American ways.

School and the Immigrant Child

Like my other siblings, Fernando was dropped into the American education system without knowing how to speak English. I know the difficulty of going to an unfamiliar place as a little kindergartener and not having your safe and secure pillars, like ama and apa visible and near. I was a chilliona my first year and cried until the teacher handed me to my 4th grade big sisterPero no me imagino what it must be like for a child to be dropped at school with a bunch of strangers and not understanding a word they’re saying to you. Chapparro (it feels weird to call him that since it was an exclusive name used by our parents) went along with the program as well as he could.

No Hablo Ingles

Un dia, while the class was working with messy art stuff, Fernando needed to wash his hands, he looked around and didn’t see a sink, so he went looking for one. He walked right into the girls bathroom and proceeded to scrub his hands. Luego, as he was washing vigorously he felt that uneasy feeling of someone watching him. He turned around and saw that some of the little girls in his class had followed him. They were chattering indignantly and staring at him in disbelief. Didn’t he know that he was in the girls bathroom?! Since he didn’t understand them, Fernando went back to washing his hands, but before he could finish he felt a nasty tug on his ear as he was being pulled out of the bathroom. Now he was indignant! The teacher was saying something to him and pointing at the words on the bathroom door “GIRLS” Fernando looked at the door and at her and using the universal “body language.” He shrugged his shoulders and knowing my brother, he had that natural Zepeda frown on his face. That’s when it hit the teacher, a “face palm” moment, that if he couldn’t speak English, he wouldn’t be able to read it. She showed him where the BOYS bathroom was and from that point on Fernando knew exactly where to go. No confusion, boys used the boys bathroom and girls used the girls one, and the English acquisition continued steadily for my big bro. 

I really enjoy sharing these stories, in my opinion, they are such a vital part of our American history. Y, para mi, it enriches my treasure vault. 

My Independence Day

Happy Independence Day! And how many people walk in true liberty? Porque pues, there are many people in the world practicing their freedom with no kind of limits.

Here I was in beautiful San Diego, fresh out of H.S. with an extra layer of sun on my skin from working in the grapevines of Coachella Valley, the American Dream at my finger tips. I teetered on the onset of adulthood with no parent rules, setting my own schedule, I thought I was  free to do anything I wanted to do.  Well sort of, I mean, I didn’t have a car, money or friends, I didn’t fit in and I was lonely. Even the Mexican-Americans around me didn’t speak Spanglish, hijole I was one free miserable little girl. One weekend I decided to push myself in with a  group of girls that were going across the border to party. Que ranchera! I felt like Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie, Comfort or cuteness? Sexy was way beyond my imagination. Hmmm… The girls were all cool or trying to look savvy in their vestiditos, they entered the club and so did I as part of their clique. When we were seated, the waiter came to take our drink order and since I didn’t know what I was doing, I ordered ice water. He said, in broken English “you must order to stay” Hijole! Then one of the girls said, in a very haughty tone, “just bring her a bloody mary” I was disgusted! A Clamato, with something in it that burned my tongue! Needless to say that I nursed that drink all evening, pretending that I didn’t even notice that I wasn’t getting asked to dance. WooHoo! Let freedom ring, verdad?

Pero asi es, somebody perpetuates the lie that the pursuit of happiness includes,  having “the” substance, to get you out of your mind, then you can be crazy.  Many find themselves deceived, miserable and without hope. As for me, I got freedom one Indepence day 38 years ago. Asi paso, I was fighting with God insisting that my religious practices made me a good girl and that was enough! But I certainly felt caged in my good works, did God even notice?  Gracias a Dios, that in this free country we still have the liberty to preach the Gospel and assemble (no thanks to covid) And as I was being stubborn, God in his mercy, let me hear the message of His love for me. Wasn’t he too busy to pursue me? Yet he wasn’t, and he still isn’t. He knocked and he knocked on the door of my heart until I couldn’t resist, I had to see all that this Lover of my soul offered me. Oh what a glorious day, that day when Jesus came into my heart and took out all the filthy rags of my works. That self righteous indignation, cleaned away. That angry unforgiving heart, healed. And, that loose tongue that lied too much and was a little too swift with the cussing and fussing, twisted and then straightened out! I rested immediately, and since that day,  we share un “cafecito.” Le digo todo, because I can trust him with my secrets. He loves me so much and when my heart condemns me, because it will, He is bigger than my heart. 

Ahora si! Let freedom ring!  Happy 4th of July, enjoy the liberties we have at the cost of others before us and may God keep helping America! 

A Pro Life Victory

Fighting For Life

June 24, 2022 was a good day in the fight for life. It reminded me of the ancient days of bible history, when queen Esther’s People won an opportunity to fight for their lives. Deveras,  I mean the law wasn’t overturned, the Jews were still very much in danger pero at least, a new edict made provision for them to defend themselves. Hijole! That alone was a great victory, I recommend you read the story, it has all the fixing for a good novela

Reconozco that this moment in history isn’t necessarily about motherhood, but for me, it definitely shines a light on this calling we women are honored with. 

Como me acuerdo de mis amigas. They expected to be mothers one day, it was something they desired, pero, it was a long journey y con mucho dolor. Such yearning to experience motherhood, waiting was so difficult. Such anxiety that the tiny living souls were in their hands. What healing it brought when her womb couldn’t carry a baby, a baby was birthed and she would nurture her. Constantly squelching down that feeling of impatience as the final documents for adoption were being signed. There are different roads to motherhood y mis fieles amigas trusted in God,  and after the hard days of waiting, oh how I rejoiced with these mommas.

Raquel yearned for a baby, her heart ached as she waited for a miracle. Each time she tested, she was careful and each time her hope fell. Why wasn’t she getting pregnant? She and her husband waited 10 years. Al fin, when it seemed impossible, un milagro! God gave her the incredible experience of pregnancy and mothering 3 varones

Patty thought she was too old to carry a baby. She had married later in life… How amazing it was that it wasn’t too late, in her womb she cradled her son. It was glorious to hear her baby’s heartbeat.

Stacie had endured the labor of foster parenting and now she held her breath as she waited for the baby to be permanently in her arms. Miracle would have her forever family.

Cita sat in that Neonatal intensive care unit watching her 2 lb. preemie fighting for her life. Her pregnancy had been hard and now She prayed for her tiny baby girl, asking God for strength for them both! Daily it had to be renewed as Cita learned how to care for her and face this giant in her life. Today she’s a thriving 4 year old.

Always God is with us, these are just a few glimpses of God’s grace and mercy on the lives of these women and their babies.  

Happy Best Friends Day

Thank God for True Friends:

Dicen por hay que it’s “Best Friends” Day today. Well I definitely have a shout out for my BFFs today and hopefully often 😀

Having been made in the “image of God” I tend to desire and enjoy beautiful honest friendship. I started this post by “researching” on google what the “qualifications” of a friend are, que verguenza! After almost 38 years of relationship with the creator of friendship, my dear dear friend Jesus, who loves me unconditionally and forgives my indiscretions, gently pointed me to the original “friend manual” 

Friendship tips: 

*Be friendly🥰 (Prov 18:24)

*Practice all those disciplines that the flesh runs from: give love, ten pacencia, show kindness, rejoice always, don’t boast, don’t gloat, resist envy, se generosa with compliments :), give a helping hand, let your heart care for another, protect the reputation of others. You’ll find these instructions in the famous Love chapter of the bible in the New Testament (1Corinthians 13: 4-7)

*Appreciate and enjoy the time God gives you with your friend (Eph. 5:16)

My Own Observation on Friends:

Gracias a Dios. I have a wide range of friends.

Some are peers. Some are family and some used to be strangers from a different world. Some are young and Some are older 😏. Some are rough and tough! The mean mugging type, but beneath it is a loyal friend. 

I love the gift of friendships God has given me, it has made a huge difference as I walk this journey called life.

“Dear George: Remember no man is a failure who has friends.”— It’s a Wonderful Life https://everydaypower.com/friendship-quotes/

Remembering Mi Ama

For many people Memorial Day is just a holiday that allows them a day off work. Some will sleep in on that Monday, others will picnic and gather with family, and some will remember their fallen war heroes with family nearby. Graves will be decorated with posies and tears of remembrance will be shed, the “what could have been” pricking at the heart.

Originally, Decoration Day was the day that commemorated the fallen heroes from the Civil War, incredible losses to maintain true freedom. Overtime, as our nation has had to continually fight to keep its dominion, Freedom has been established at a great cost. The wars and the men and women who have sacrificed their lives are too incredible to count. Our commemoration day has been renamed and acknowledged across the Land Of The Free as Memorial Day. Que Dios nos siga bendiciendo! Y de todo corazon I send out my appreciation this Memorial Day weekend to our fallen heroes.

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” – Winston Churchill

For me, Memorial Day is very personal also. My mother went home to Jesus on Memorial Day 33 years ago. y ahora si! She truly does rest in God’s peace. She wasn’t a soldier, she was ‘just’ my ama. She sacrificed her life to form mine and my siblings and a few grandchildren at the time.

Mexican-American Girl

Today marks 32 years that me and my siblings have walked this earth without our ama. Que dramatica! Everytime a memorial day comes out of the closet I think I must be sad and well, and I am. That’s when I have to choose not to be a chillona and I must make a conscious choice to turn my sadness into something better. I’m gonna text my sis in a while and remember with her our ama.

Mothering Techniques

I miss her, she is a feisty latina woman! She had to be, with 4 strapping boys that had plans of their own and 4 feisty latina daughters! If her command and tone didn’t get the job done, she pulled out her secret weapon: “Vas a ver! Cuando venga tu Padre” Yikes! We never wanted my apa to get involved. Just writing this makes me sit up straight.

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It’s Almost Cinco De Mayo

Most people love to see the underdog who is against all odds come out on top in his impossible circumstance. Let’s revisit this historic event as we celebrate another Cinco de Mayo!

Mexican-American Girl

A Cause to Celebrate

In general los Mexicanos, y los Mexican Americans are always down for a good fiesta. We can lay out a beautiful scene and cook a delicious spread! Verdad? Con mi familia, we usually celebrated the main events like weddings, quinces, baptismals and Navidad and yes Accion de Gracias, can’t leave out Thanksgiving! After that, other federal or famous days went unnoticed with my familia, my apa worked Monday- Saturday and sometimes on Sunday, all that to say that Cinco de Mayo did not stir up a fiesta around our house. Que si es un poco extraño, strange, because my apa loved to talk about the Mexican history, especially the Revolucion. You know, the Cinco de Mayo story is a great one and I think it should be a national holiday in Mexico, pero no lo es!

A Gringo Celebration?

Do you…

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How To Handle A Bully

I have three older sisters, all feisty fiery Latina’s!  Can’t say when I’ll see two of them again, so meanwhile, My sis Marina and I try to celebrate their birthday with sweet memories of them. I’ve told you about Marina and Patty, ahora, I’m celebrating Lupe, her birthday was this past week. 

Perhaps every little sister has that admiration glint in their eye for their hermana mayor, o no? My big sister was like the female version of the Godfather. De veras, just check out her name María Guadalupe Zepeda Sánchez. I Can hear my son Jonathan saying “Tía Lupe was a G” and I would agree with him. 

She was Passionate but in control (usually) Deep down inside she wanted to display outward affection but she held herself back, except of course when a fat little baby was near her and she couldn’t resist the rosy chubby cheeks, or the tiny rolls on the baby’s thighs. Only then would you hear that wonderful baby talk that my ama practiced and passed  down to us. Those catch phrases that are still heard around some Zepeda circles :D. “Que cosa tan fina!” o “Cosita fina” and of course the mumbo jumbo phrases, sweet nothings and kisses. With Lupe, after the infant stage was gone, you just had to know she loved you by her other actions.

From the heart of a little sister, I knew how to see and feel her love. Lupe allowed me into her heart and shared her life with me; the good, the bad and the ugly. Lupe loved my family. She knew how to win my angry little first born. Not having a girl of her own, she indulged mine with those girly frilles that I had no clue about. She knew just how to tantalize my finicky middle child with the right foods . She was smitten by my guerito, Thomas, always looking for ways to spoil him. And even my flaco, she enjoyed cooking for him, and he especially enjoyed her perfectly round soft tortillas and her nopalitos, we’ve never tasted a better cactus salad than my big sisters. 

One more of the ways she showed her love was in her “stand with you” position she took with family. My sister was a passionate and loyal latina. She loved her family and defended us when necessary or had us defend ourselves, but she was there for us.

My older brother just recently shared with me another story from the archives of Mexicali. The lesson he had to teach Lupe about facing the bully.

My apa hated to know we were being bullied, but I think he disliked even more the idea we were not pushing a bully back, or defending ourselves. He strongly believed that we had to send that message that we were not going to be walked on. Sometimes it just took a brave look into the eyes of the bully and other times it took more. I believe that we all learned that lesson at some point in our lives. Here’s a quick look at how Angel taught Lupe how to handle a bully.

Life was simple in those days, kids played outside in the yard or on the street, the most important thing in a little girl’s life in the colonia was play. Until it was not. Lupe was enjoying her liberty until Big Bully Girl came out. Then, she’d take from Lupe whatever she had or she’d shove, hit or hurt her. Lupe would run and hide, usually wailing to ama. Angel got wind of this “situation” He himself was now a street savvy neighborhood kid. He knew it had to change. 

One day, he happened to be home, outdoors with the kids when Big Bully Girl came out, and Lupe immediately ran to hide behind Angel. It was one of those moments: defend his little sister or teach her to defend herself. But why defend yourself when your big brother is there? In the flowery language he uses, he told me how he resolved her problem.  He told his little sister that she better quit hiding, go face that girl and show her she could not push her around. He didn’t say “tell her you’re not scared of her” What he did threaten was that if she didn’t face that girl immediately, she would have to deal with him! Lupe was more afraid of that consequence of course. When Lupe stopped hiding, Big Bully Girl was surprised when Lupe pushed back! Lesson learned, mission accomplished! Lupe never feared that bully again, in fact Angel said that he did feel sorry for the bully after that. 

Apa and 3 of his 4 girls. (That’s me in the frilly dress)

Por favor, I do realize that bullying can get way more serious than standing up to a bossy mean selfish kid. Bullying can turn ugly and dangerous. Family support is critical, but if you can’t talk to a family member there are places that will help a person in need. 

Por supuesto que, life brought on many difficulties and hurts for my big sis, many times she had no choice but to face them. When she had to fight for her rightful place she did with fierce strength, when she had to let things go, though it was a battle, though her heart ached she did so, fighting always to keep her head up. When she couldn’t defend herself, God showed himself strong.

There was a gap of 7 years between Lupe and I, but in our latter years as wives and mothers we enjoyed a wonderful friendship. She gave me a place of honor by making me her friend. In one sense I can’t wait to catch up with her in heaven one day and hear her morning greeting again. “Good morning sunshine”.