Today I Remember My Mother, R.I.P.

Ana MilagroI guess you could say that this is the day that changed my life forever. It was on this day 26 years ago, three days before my first birthday, that Honduran officials stormed the safe house where I was staying with my mother. At the time my family were fighting as revolutionaries in the Salvadorian Civil War.

We don’t know the exact details and probably never will. We think my mother was not in the house when it happened and was able to call my grandmother one last time. We will never know exactly what happened, but what I do know is that this was the last time I was with my mother.

While searching the safe house Honduran officials found me in a back room. I was placed in an orphanage for a year before getting adopted.

It’s a little strange to think that one moment in time completely changed my life forever. Had my mother left the movement like she wanted to, maybe I would have never been lost for 16 years. It’s hard to say what might have happened. But I don’t spend too much time thinking about that any more.

However, for many years I did think about what happened, and this day always was very hard for me. I felt like this was the day that everything went wrong, the day I lost the most important person to me; my mother.

A few years ago that started to change for me, when I realized how fortunate I have been in my life. I started to let her go.

I still think of her on this day, but it’s not the same. I think about what she had to give up. The strength it must have taken to put herself and her family in harm’s way. How impossibly hard it must have been. If I would have done the same. Most of all I think about how the sacrifices she made for me gave me a life and opportunities I might have never had otherwise.

This may seem a bit off topic but I’m a big Harry Potter fan. I suppose that part of me identifies with that character. His mother died for him so that he could do great things. I see that in my own life and its the reason that I try to live everyday to the fullest. I wanted to share a quote that J.K Rowling uses in the final Harry book. To me it says, even though the ones we love are gone, they still live on inside of us.

Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still. For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent. In this divine glass, they see face to face; and their converse is free, as well as pure. This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal. – William Penn, More Fruits of Solitude

R.I.P. Ana Milgro Escobar de Coto. You will always be with me.

Saying Goodbye to My Grandmother

About a month or so ago I found out that my grandmother was sick. At the time we did not know what was wrong with her, but she seemed to think this was the end for her. They told me she was tired and was ready to move on.

This was something I was not expecting to hear from her. Over the past couple of trips I had started to notice her aging more than she had before. I had a lingering feeling that one day I would have to say goodbye. However, it wasn’t until I heard what she said to my sister that it actually hit me.

I am going to miss her. Now, I can’t say that I am very close to her. Since my Spanish isn’t the greatest, we don’t talk much.

When I see her it’s for a few hours each trip. She greets me with a smile and asks me about the rest of the family. She never asks me about my life or what I am doing. She loves to cook for me, and I definitely enjoy her food. It’s so simple and in some ways so meaningful.

It’s not talking, it’s not judging, it’s not questioning. It’s just being together.

I’m not exactly sure why this is affecting me this much. I’ve had other grandmothers whom I loved pass away, and I didn’t feel like this. I don’t think I was that close to them either. Maybe it’s because without her I would not be sitting here in my sister’s house.

I don’t think I can put into words what she means to me and how I feel about her. All I can say is that she never gave up on me and because of her hard work I have had so many happy memories.

She is doing much better now, but I know that one day I will have to say goodbye. Hearing those words was a wake up call in some way. I suddenly knew that each time I see her it might be the last. It’s a little sad to think about, but from now on I will appreciate so much more every moment I get to spend with her.