Thank you so much for your post-card! It was such a wonderful surprise, and especially at this time of the year. I can’t believe you’re about to graduate!!! I’m so happy for you, and so excited to know that yet another friend is joining the grand adventure that is life after college. It’s going to be an unforgettable time, and you can bet you’ll emerge from it with even more gems of knowledge about what you want to accomplish in our world.
In the meantime, it’s great to know that you’ve been out and about exploring the nifty States! I don’t know if you saw, but I’ll be doing some traveling as well soon, as I head to Miami this summer for a writing workshop with some of the country’s finest authors at VONA! It’s going to be a real treat, especially since it’s been years since I left the Golden state.
Apart from this, as you shared with me about your adventures in the big apple, it’s a pleasure to tell you a little bit about my day in return.
Yesterday was actually really special, as my mom and I had a little date night at the movies together in downtown Los Angeles. We didn’t watch just any movies either, but these amazing short documentary films about immigrant madres and how they arrived to life in California. The event was put together by the California Endowment Center, and it was just magical.
Before the film, there was a small reception with a light meal, coffee, and tea, and I made sure my mom and I both had us a scrum-diddly-umptious time! This was no small treat: just a few days prior, the both of us had been dealing with some grumpy and capricious stomachs, and my little lady even had to take a full day of rest from work! Last night though, the two of our bellies were at ease, so mom and I ate con gusto, as they say.
Afterwards, it was movie-time, and the films were just heart-achingly personal. Each film told the story of a survivor, and of women who were humble but brave individuals, each filling the screen with the poise and dignity that only loving mothers can so gracefully command:
One mom told about her daily struggle as a farm-worker in the Coachella Valley, where she’s picked and tended to crops for over fifteen years, while another mother shared with viewers about having a child at fifteen years old, and how this forced her to leave her hometown for better work opportunities to provide more for her family.
Another madre described how she was the tenth of thirteen children, and how her father was murdered when she was just fourteen years old, leaving the family in emotional and financial disarray until she left for Los Angeles.
The next film featured a mother who was beat by her own mother since she was a young girl. Her suffering only continued when she was wedded off in an arranged marriage, but she would eventually be free when made her move to Oakland.
After this, we learned from the story of a single mother who was diagnosed with cancer, and how her journey with leukemia impacted her young children in Mecca, California.
And in closing, we heard from another survivor who hailed from all the way out in Africa! She talked about how she escaped political and domestic violence in her home-country of Eritrea before arriving to Oakland.
And as you can see, it was quite the movie night! I could see a piece of each of these women in my mother, and I’m so glad we got to see the films together. At long last, it felt like mujeres such as herself were being recognized for their humanity.
What’s more, all of the films were made by the daughters of these women, each of whom were just barely fourteen to eighteen years old! Seeing their great work behind the camera not only promised a better future ahead for all of them, but it also filled me with more confidence about telling my own mother’s incredible story one day.
After the screening, as my mom and I left, the folks at the Endowment Center handed her a rose for Mother’s day! And it was so badass. I seriously didn’t even know mother’s day was coming up, but I was happy to see my mom honored anyway.
Anywho, I think last night couldn’t have happened without everything else taking place before it. That is, everything, from mine and my mom’s struggles back in the day, to getting to college, and then graduating and starting over, has all led us to this new freedom and learning curve now, where get to find and link yet even more layers to our journey together.
And as you continue with your paths, I trust you’ll find something similar. When you do, you’ve got to let me know so we can make something fun out of it too.
In the meantime, enjoy those bike lanes up at Davis! They must be just gorgeous during this Spring-time, and I wish you nothing but the best rides through them leading up to your special day in June. And even beyond! I promise it’s going to be awesome, and as you rock your cap and gown, I’ll be rooting for you not far away.
With laav from L.A.,