It is already May and the mango season is here!!! To me happiness smells like mango just because it reminds me my grandma Beatriz Madera Cano. I have never seen a happiest person eating them. She used to love the simplest things and was one of the wisest, most knowledgeable and skillful persons I have ever met. She knew how to get a perfect and effortless pedicure and had the most beautiful feet I have ever seen. She loved animals; she had always a free bird that followed her just like a puppy. She invented her own workout system to exercise every morning. It was a very graceful combination of movements. Beatriz was so adventurous too. Once, she wanted to ride my vespa. She argued she knew how to deal with wild horses, so she was pretty sure a vespa was easier to ride. I regret I did not let her do it.
Beatriz never had the chance to go to school and she started to learn how to read and write when she was 70. One of her dreams was to read the bible. Unfortunately, she never achieved this goal. She was only able to read very short sentences. Nevertheless, she was a very passionate woman who always fought for the right to believe. Back in her times, Catholicism was the main religious belief. Those who did not preach it were subjected to illegal persecution and social exclusion. Nevertheless, she decided to follow her heart and fight for her right to believe. It always made her very proud and fulfilled. Her hope was to be in the heaven’s roll and she always reminded herself by singing: “when they call roll in heaven, when they call roll in heaven, to my name I’ll happily reply”.
Beatriz even had to flee her home town in the middle of the night because her life was at risk. She abandoned all her belongings and started a new life. With six children to support, she had to start fresh and performed the hardest jobs just to defend her right to belief. One might think she had to be nuts to do that. Nevertheless, she preferred to stand up for her rights and the future generations’. I have wondered many times if young Mexican preachers and pastors are aware of the persons who fought for their right to believe; so they can freely preach their beliefs these days
While defending her beliefs, Grandma Beatriz also foresaw other human rights. For example, migrant rights. This past December “Las Patronas” won several human rights prizes. They are a group of amazing women, who feed and shelter Central American immigrants passing trough Mexico in their way to the USA. Whenever, I read about their prizes I thought of my Grandma’s efforts to protect the life of “illegal” immigrants coming to refuge at her place. She used to feed them and care for them just like if they were her own children. Her place was always full of guests coming from Central America who were waiting for the right time to keep their way to the USA or just waiting to go back home. How many lives would have been saved for her family efforts? I wonder if some of those guys still remember her and say a pray for her.
Beatriz passed away some days ago; she died in her sleep. No one will award her individual efforts towards humanity. Fortunately, a lot of prays were said in her honor during her funeral. Nevertheless, I did not want to forget myself that I have the guaranty of the right to believe or not to believe thanks to people like her. I also want to remind other young people that destinies can be change for good; but it requires effort and commitment. Religious and the existence of God can be very controversial; so I won’t argue about it. I just want to point out; we young people take for granted our rights and we should not.
Happiness may taste like mango only after you have won a lot of battles to guarantee a better life for you and the future generations. I really hope with my heart Beatriz is in a great place raising her hand whenever she is called, exercising every morning and happily eating mangos just like she used to do every May.