Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Inspired by Strength.



When I was 3 years old I was sitting on my bed playing with my Polly Pockets
when my mother came in and introduced me to a woman.
She was this teeny,
gorgeous,
Salvadorean woman
who could not speak a lick of English.
This new addition to the family would be helping my mother take care of my sister and I.

Her name was Anamaria.

I was a brat of a child in that moment,
and had absolutely no interest in letting this woman into my life.

However,
24 hours later,
I fell in love.

There was not a day that went by where I was not chatting,
playing,
or driving this woman mad with my eccentric personality.
She was a riot!
And by far,
the only person who could spit back sass the way I could as a kid.
I was enthralled.

Every morning,
before school,
Anamaria would braid my hair as we watched Tom and Jerry.
Mind you,
not because I wanted to
but because SHE wanted to!

That woman loves her some Tom And Jerry.

She was my own Mary Poppins.
Floating in on an umbrella straight from El Salvador to teach me and my family lessons we could never learn from one another.
One of her main teachings was the importance of culture.
She instilled Spanish into my life,
an obsession for pupusas
and a love for El Salvador that to this day I still hold.

Yeah,
I get it,
I'm "not Salvadorean",
but screw you.
I know where my heart lies,
and it's in
El Salvador right next to those beaches eating pupusas with my Anamaria.

Two years ago,
the earth stood still,
when she was diagnosed with spinal chord cancer.

I had never had to deal with the reality of cancer.
It was always this lingering ghost that everyone else had to deal with,
but not me.
Then it came.
With full force.
And it came onto my Anamaria.

I am lucky to say that she fought her battle
and she fought like the strong woman she has always been.
But I did see one instance of insecurity within her.

Hair loss in cancer patients is inevitable.
Anamaria went from a long haired Salvi,
to a bald goddess in what felt like seconds.
It never phased me.
In fact,
I could just see that beautiful face even more!
But,
because of culture and expectations,
I remember my Anamaria saying to me
"I feel ugly".

Nothing could have been further than the truth!
I reassured her,
that I have never seen anyone more beautiful in my life.
That Cindy Crawford was shaking in her boots knowing that a woman as stunning as herself was around.
That in her baldness I saw everything that I find beautiful in women.
That in her baldness I found beauty within myself.

2 years later my Anamaria has a full set of hair,
and even more sass to boot!

I shaved my head a day ago.
For myself.
However,
I was inspired by Anamaria.
By her beauty
and by her baldness.
By the strength of the 6,361,000 plus women who have suffered from cancer.




When I was little,
people would always ask what my relation was to Anamaria.
They'd say ...
"is she your mother...
sister...
friend?"
I'd simply say no.
After all,
she was none of those things to me.
She was,
however,
mine.

Hence the phrase;
my Anamaria.
Or as I say in spanish...
Mi Anamaria.




I bought Anamaria this necklace years ago.
She never takes it off and now wears it with a locket her husband gave to her.


So now I get it.
Bald is beautiful.
And so is mi Anamaria.

4 comments:

  1. you.are.a.Salvadorean.princes.

    without actually being Salvadorean.

    this coming from a "real" Salvadorean.
    (Real in parenthesis because you're just about as salvi as i am)

    ReplyDelete
  2. sooo sweet...brought me tears! i love you bald!

    -ericaa

    ReplyDelete
  3. beautiful post. You have a warm caring heart. How lucky your friends is.

    ReplyDelete