As with any holiday season I get many greetings from friends. But the ones from Patty are always especially rewarding.
A bit about my Mexican-American friend. She married a Mexican National in the states, left all her family there, gave up her home and moved to Mexico with Jose to begin his legalization process. This entailed a hefty fine for his being in the States as an undocumented person and a long drawn-out and expensive and bureaucratic process. It has been 6 years and they are still in Mexico with little hope of getting the money together. So they are barely making it with Patty teaching English to young folks in her home and Jose trying to get work as a mechanic even though he has a college degree in it.
Patty’s Christmas letter 2012
“Well, we’ve made it to the end of the year and despite all of the dire predictions, we partied like it was…going to be 2013 in a matter of days!
With the help of some of my 40+ past and current students and their families we celebrated with as much hope and joy as possible and in the process consumed 150 cupcakes; 400 cookies (sugary stars, frosted Christmas trees, chocolate chip and strawberry filled); 60 quarts of piping hot homemade fruit punch (guayabas, apples, whole sugarcane, tejocote, raisins, plums and piloncio boiled for about 4 hours); and bowls of mole, beans and rice, and just about anything else that happened to wander by.
Thank you all so much for the wonderful e-mails and prayers that have been great company this entire year. I always look forward to hearing from you. When things get particularly tough I gather all of your Love close to my heart, and always seem to find myself on the other side.
The Mayans didn’t predict the end of the world, but rather the end of one cycle, and the beginning of another. In this New Beginning I pray that all of your days are filled with enough Love, Joy and Laughter to get you through whatever difficulties you may encounter along the way. And, as always celebrate the good stuff and kick the junk to the side.
Patty’s “letter” on behalf of Jose:
“What Jose Roberto Did While I Was Busy Trying Not To Get Whacked By The Crazed Mob That Was Chasing Swinging Piñatas…”
“This is what happens when you leave a guy alone for way too long, with too many loose ends-or metal pieces.
Though Jose comes from a long line of stone sculptors (endless cousins and uncles with a multitude of workshops in the neighboring town of Escolasticas) most of whom make a livingselling their beautiful artistry around the world, Jose has never shown much of an interest. As most of you know he works as a mechanic alongside his brother, Carlos. Unfortunately, lately there hasn’t been as much work as we could hope for. Usually, he and his brother sell damaged car parts to a local recycler, but unexpectedly, Jose said he was bored and starting to get a little stressed-out, when he decided that he would take some of those used car parts and create something else.
As you can see he has been busy even if he hasn’t had too many cars to repair.
The first piece he made was Don Quixote which he just sold on Christmas Eve for $300 pesos-about $24 dollars. He has another request for Don Quixote’s sidekick, Sancho Panza.
Jose was nice enough to create a statue of a figure seated with a book (actually a small, rustydoor hinge) in its hands, aptly named the “Student.” I raffled off the Student at our students’Christmas party. Each attendee received a ticket, including their family and friends. The interesting thing is that of the dozens of people present, the statue went to one of my younger students who really struggles to read and to retain information (I suspect he is autistic). God knew what He was doing. The little boy was beyond thrilled and was absolutely beaming with a smile that could hardly fit on his little face!
I don’t think I could be prouder of Jose, and if nothing else, he brought a bit of joy to my little student and his family.
Once again, Jose has shown me that when things look the bleakest, it’s the perfect time to do something for pure pleasure. And, within that, there might just be something more, something beyond the obvious. Something unexpected, and really sweet and good, for more than just ourselves.
I hope your Holiday Season is as Blessed and Joy-filled as ours.
I wish more people in the world were as good and unselfish as you and Jose. You are wonderful models for the Mexican people around you. As with our Latino high school drop-outs in our alternative education program, we just felt like we were planting seeds. You may not always immediately see the happy results of your labors…just know that you are indeed making a difference in people’s lives. They will think back on what you have modeled for them. It’s what makes life worthwhile.
I may have told you this. A baby sitter in LA from a Chinese family a couple doors up from us found me on FB about a year ago. She called me and told me what an influence we had on her at the age of 12. She used to go through our books and skim them while sitting the kids which she said opened up her world. She expressed such gratitude, it made tears come to my eyes. She since went to college and is now married to a pediatrician (!) and has a lovely family. We never know how we affect people. It was almost scary to me to realize why it is such a great responsibility to model healthy behavior. I get similar feedback from former CREATE students who are on FB with me. (Thanks to modern technology) It makes my life worthwhile.
And thanks for being such a good partner for each other.
Tags: Festivals & Ceremonies, Mexico