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Thursday, February 3, 2011


Over the past 10 years or so I have seen the glimmer of hope gradually fade from my husband's eyes.  He had so many dreams and ideas when he came to the U.S.  Many of those expectations have died for various reasons.  Some of those reasons have to do with the limitations we place on ourselves psychologically.  That said, mostly I think that what happened is that he discovered how many hoops one needs to jump through in order to realize a dream here in the U.S.  Compared to Mexico, there seems to exist an excessive amount of  bureaucracy in the U.S.  Also, he noticed that many times people here seem to sacrifice quality of life in order to achieve success.   He started to become discouraged.  Eventually, despite efforts to better our lives with career changes and positive thinking, the discouragement gave way to depression and hopelessness.  Then his mom came to visit.

Now, I'll admit that the time that his mother spent here with us (two months) was not exactly a piece of cake for me.  I mean, I love her, but it was challenging for this gringa to share our tiny two-bedroom home with my mother-in-law, especially when Mr. Husband was at work everyday, leaving us to fend for ourselves.  Even though I am comfortable in the Mexican culture, it was a stretch for me to have such an extended, intense amount of "quality time" with her because I am a person who values her "alone time" and, to compound the problem, there were moments when the typical mother-in-law/daughter-in-law issues reared their ugly head.

Over the last few years my husband and I have tossed around the idea of moving to Mexico, but it has always been set aside because of the violence that has been occurring there.  We have been frightened by what we've seen on the news. The story that ran not too long ago on Dateline sent us over the edge.  We were NOT going to run the risk of that happening to us.  We were in agreement.  Until his mom came to visit.

Poco a poco, seeds were planted in my husband's mind.  Little seeds of hope for a better life.  A life where a family has time with one another, and where business dreams have a fighting chance.  (Now, I realize that the truth in the statement I just made depends on what sort of business is in question.  I'm choosing to not share our ideas here on this blog for various reasons.)  The seeds my mother-in-law planted were in direct contradiction to what we had previously decided upon as a couple, and this really stressed me out.  We fought about it a little.  Then we fought about it a lot.  Mr. Husband said that it wasn't as though he suddenly felt at ease with the idea of living there.  It was just that he was beginning to weigh all of our options and take into consideration that the media may be causing the general public more fear than necessary regarding Mexico's violence problem.  He realized it is a very serious problem. What we weren't sure about was just how much it would affect our daily life if we were to live there.  A good way to get the answer to that question was to visit Mexico. That's why, when his family offered to buy him a ticket to go visit them, we agreed whole-heartedly that this was a wonderful idea.

Remember how I said that sometimes this "American Dream" feels like a nightmare?  Well, the other day when my son and I went to pick up my husband from the airport upon his return from Mexico, I immediately noticed something different about him.  He seemed at peace, but more than that, he seemed hopeful; excited.  He began to tell me about his visit with his immediate and extended family, and how they enveloped him with their love and wowed him and encouraged him.  I felt a surge of love as I saw the man I first met emerge from a long hibernation.  It was like he'd been awakened.

Funny, these days I find myself stretching and wiping the sleep from my eyes.