Saturday, June 28, 2008

Generosity

Are you ever just walking around and someone pops into your mind? And you wonder about that person and lots of memories come back? Well, that happened to me this morning. I have NO idea what made Aleyda come to mind - none, nada. But she was a very important person for at least ten years in my life back in the USA. I met her through a mutual friend and she cleaned his house and subsequently mine, and she followed me as I moved around for a few years there in the 90's.........What a delightful woman - hard, hard worker. She came from El Salvador with NOTHING! Worked two jobs every day for at least six days a week and in the ten years I kept up with her managed to pay cash for a house and buy a car. Initially she took three buses to get to my house!
Her generosity was amazing. When my daughter was diagnosed with acute leukemia, she was seven months pregnant. She was induced for a week until little Christopher was born and then started chemo the very next day. I and the "other" grandmother took turns taking care of him when he came home from the hospital plus my being with Jennifer........it was exhausting, to put it mildly - I needed 36 hours in a day. I mentioned this to Aleyda one day and asked if she knew someone who could help with Christopher.................you're not going to believe this...........her mother flew up from El Salvador and stayed with us and Christopher for about three months! Jennifer didn't get to be with Christopher until he was 4 or 5 months because she had a bone marrow transplant so Aleyda's mother was a "godsend".............
Generosity? I see it every single day here in Mexico - it causes a lump in my throat. It's the flower vendor who comes to my house who ALWAYS gives me an extra rose (I now give him a muffin or something I've baked which brings BIG smiles) or Josefina, my maid, who brings me a gift on Mother's Day.........or total strangers being so kind.
So, thinking of Aleyda makes me just that more grateful for the generosity and kindness of those we know, and those we don't! I tried to call Aleyda last time I was in Houston and she's moved and I have no way to find her. I certainly wish her well in her life...........what a woman!

6 comments:

wayne said...

I have never met a selfish Mexican. They will literally give you the only shirt they own if you need it. One has to be careful though. If you admire something in their home, you may just end up walking out the door with it!

Babs said...

I learned the hard way to be very cautious about admiring something -I now have a few things I feel terrible about having! You're so right - "selfish" is not in their character which, when I see Americans being stingy with them I want to slap them "upside the head".

jennifer rose said...

Hold off on the stereotypes about Mexicans. Not only do we seldom ride burros, we're not the smiling, generous kind who're ready to drop everything we're doing to dance around the hat at a fiesta. This isn't the land of San Sombrero, where smiling is a national pastime. Regardless of what you may have read, there is no law which makes it a crime not to smile on federal holidays.

There are simpatico Mexicans, and there are SOBs. You just can't generalize and make attributions to the national character. It might help to read the paginas rojas and Alarma for a reality check from time to time.

Babs said...

Obviously Jennifer you have had a different experience in Mexico then I have during the last 40 years. I have both lived and had professional involvement in this country. I truly have never had bad experiences personally or professionally. Most of my business dealings were in Mexico City, Guadalajara and the Patzcauro area so you can't use the fact that I now live in San Miguel as an excuse......I've pretty much been everywhere in Mexico except the Baja.
I'm sorry you've had negative experiences........and I don't even understand your comment about Sombreros' and smile on federal holidays ! Maybe you can explain further what you mean......

jennifer rose said...

Let's not misread my comment.

See http://www.molvania.com/sansombrero/ for the reference to San Sombrero.

Just like any place on the planet, Mexico is filled with good experiences and bad, good people and bad actors. They're no different from the kind folk of Moldova and Israel. To get through 40 years without a single bad experience in a country is a miracle.

Now, if we're going to say that "selfish" is not a character concept in Mexico, how about asking Marta Sahagun for the shirt off her back? If I were to admire one of M.A. Aramburuzabala's assets, do you think she'd give it to me?

Babs said...
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