Maria (Part 1)
Maria is the first friend I met in Mexico. I met her the day we arrived in Ixtlahuacan. She introduced us to her landlord and we rented an apartment located behind hers. She was curious about us and wasn’t afraid to show it. When we moved in she came to visit daily. She watched as we unpacked boxes and she talked non-stop in Spanish. We didn’t understand a word, but that didn’t seem to bother her, nor deter her. One night she came in the apartment desperately trying to tell us something. We could tell it was important, but could not make out a word. Finally she took my hand and lead me outside where our truck door stood wide open. Another day she wanted to borrow something, she asked me over and over and when I didn’t understand she just said “matillo” louder and louder. Finally she made the motion of driving a nail in the wall to hang a picture and I quickly went home and returned with the hammer.
Almost instantly, she fell in love with our girls, they were 2 years and 2 months at the time. She carried Trinity constantly and took her around the corner to her apartment to show her off to friends. At night when Trinity would cry because she didn’t want to go to sleep, Maria would hear from her apartment and come over, pick Trinity up from the crib. Maria hated to hear her cry! And because of Maria’s efforts, I sincerely thought Trinity would never learn to sleep through the night.
As the girls grew Maria introduced us to a hairdresser who lived a few blocks away. We took Trinity for a hair cut one day and she was appalled that anyone would touch her hair with scissors. Trinity stood up in the chair screaming at the top of her lungs “me duelle, me duelle”. Which means “It hurts me!” I was beyond embarrassed, again Maria didn’t seem to mind. From day one, Maria became like family. She has watched our family grow, loving each girl as much as the next. When we needed a sitter, she has been there, she has attended the girls’ birthday parties and has become like a grandma to them. We love her!
Maria knows everyone in town and loves to walk and visit with the other locals. Since our first day in Mexico she often walks over to the house unannounced to visit. Once inside, if she sees dishes to wash, she washes them. If the patio needs to be swept, or mopped, she jumps right in to help. Whenever we have extra work, she is my “go to”. She is always willing to help clean the house, prepare for teams or cook food. Whatever needs to be done, she is ready to assist. And when she finishes, she returns to visit with the locals outside.
A couple of weeks ago, as we drove home, Trinity mentioned how odd it was that we had not seen Maria outside her apartment. I too had noticed that it had been a while since I had seen Maria. Immediately we suspected something was wrong…..