Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Que Vaya Bien

Please forgive my poetry, I know it's gauche to rhyme,
But I'm knee-deep in suitcases and running out of time.

I thought a poem'd be a nice tribute to end my blog
But then I got distracted and wrote a post for my dog.

So now this poem's not exactly what I had in mind,
I tried to hit the highlights and thought it'd be nice to find

Old posts to link to each stanza but, seriously? Uh, no.
So, now, without further ado, my Ode to Mexico:

I arrived in Mexico with my father by my side
My life back home was all packed up and I'd said my goodbyes.

I'd left Chicago mid-blizzard and marveled at the heat
It was even be warm enough to sleep without a sheet.

My eyes grew ever wider as I took in my new town,
I got out of the car and my whole world flipped upside-down.

Thirteen in-laws surrounded me with fourteen kids in tow,
But sadly not the mother-in-law who I barely got to know.

My breath came quick as my new family embraced me to their heart,
And they welcomed this pasty gringa without a second thought.

Despite the culture shock I tried my best to get along
And joined my sisters in the kitchen, pretending I belonged.

The water didn't take too long to get accustomed to,
You drink from bottles otherwise your tummy says "oh poo".

I quickly learned to bathe without a shower or tub,
I woke up to my first earthquake that made the locals shrug.

Ibis got food poisoning and we rushed to the ER,
I got stung by a jellyfish that left a three-inch scar.

A local dog that Ibis had adopted as his own
Was poisoned by a neighbor and we knew it was time to go.

We moved to Zihuatanejo, a fishing village on the coast
And jumped for joy at the running water (the thing I'd missed the most).

Little things about this place were different from back home
And each day brought surprises that we never could have known.

The helicopters overhead, machine guns in the street,
Their presence meant to reassure but making my heart beat.

The paper guys shouting 'bout the latest beheadings,
Music drifting through the air from the neighbors' weddings.

The lions that they drag through town to advertise the circus,
Megaphones on top of cars to announce things sure to shock us.

Some things seemed more natural than anything back home
And the relaxed nature soon seemed like the only thing I'd known.

Sure, I had my moments when I'd wish things weren't so slow,
But then I'd watch the sunrise and be glad I had nowhere to go.

In Mexico it's assumed that you'll be an hour or two late,
But no one gets upset—you kiss hello and grab a plate.

A funny thing is that most Mexicans are really short,
And for the first time in my life I'm considered average, not a dwarf.

I discovered that my DC driving skills prepared me well,
I can be speedracer and no one yells to go to hell.

On weekends the hotels put on cool fireworks displays
That we watch from our living room while wearing our pjs.

And then there's Owen—how could I not mention our little pup,
Who came into our lives the day we lost the King of Pop.

He filled a void that I was sure might never be replaced
And brought a joy into our lives that'll never be erased.

Despite this newfound happiness I still felt at a loss
And longed to live where I could rediscover my purpose.

I made a choice that's proved to be the hardest in my life—
I'm leaving Mexico without him whom makes me a wife.

Over the past month I've really tried to appreciate this town
And soak in all the things I'll miss when I am not around:

The trickling sound the cobblestones make when you drive atop the bricks,
Being surprised when I look outside and see a giant ship.

The fruit, the bread, the cheese, the fish,
The fish. Did I mention the fish?

The molé enchiladadas that my husband makes so well,
The frozen-fruit paletas you have to inhale before they melt.

Sunday nights in the plaza when we run into our friends,
That quiet calm in the evening when the music finally ends.

The early mornings as the sun's rays stretch across the sky,
The lazy days spent lounging in a hammock with my guy.

For he's the thing I'll miss the most when I say adios,
I have no words… right now this is the way our story goes.

Adios... Thank you for sharing this journey with me.


Adam said...

Mel Mel Mel,
I can't rhyme well,
So I give up.


Big bundle of hugs from me, Mel. I hope things play out in your favour in the future. :)


Anonymous said...

Uhhhh, Melanie. I am sitting in my jammies reading this with big tears streaming down my face. I can only imagine the emotions running through you at this moment. I admire your strength and truly enjoy escaping my own world to experience yours. Safe travels!

Amy Sue Nathan said...

Here's to safe travel, new adventures and a reunion with Ibis when the stars align.

Hugs to you, my friend.

Kristine said...

Ahhh, so many memories. Safe travels!

Janna Qualman said...

Oh my goodness. This was so lovely, Melanie. So very good. I had goosebumps halfway through, and my nose is burning. You know, that sure sign of emotion.

Continued thoughts of you and Ibis and Owen. HUGS.

Lisa Marie Miles said...

I'll be thinking about you. Big HUGS, Mel;)

Melanie Avila said...

Adam, what are you talking about? That's pure gold.

Thanks Anon. I normally don't reply to people without names, but that's very sweet. :)

Thanks Amy.

Kris, I had to get your picture in there. ;)

Janna, burning nose is a sign of emotion? :P I kid. I'm glad you liked it.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Lisa.

june said...

*wipes away tears*

That was awesome. Have a safe trip home, dear!

WendyCinNYC said...

Oh wow, great poem! Make sure you keep a hard copy of that.

Safe travels, my dear.

Kreyfish said...

Some day soon, the three of you will find a home, and this will all be just another step in the journey.

Be well, Mel.

LurkerMonkey said...

That was so nice!

Have a good trip and write us from Michigan ...

mary said...

Mel, I also, like Anon, am sitting here with my first cup of coffee and tears streaming down my face. *runs to get kleenex* That was a beautiful poem and thank you for sharing it and a bit of your life, happiness and sorrow with all of us. I feel blessed to have been able to spend some time with you, Ibis and Owen and will miss you so much in October (and not just for the car rides to Comercial!).

All the best to the three of you, safe travels to you and may happiness follow you allows!

All my love, Mary

Janet said...

thinking of you and ibis and owen! will look forward to hear of your safe arrival in the states (and the safe arrival of your computer!) - janet

Rachel Burton said...

You've gone and gotten me all sniffly. What a lovely tribute and a brave decision. I can't imagine. Travel safe.

Melanie Avila said...

I'm shutting down the baby computer. Three hours to go!

I'll respond to your comments once I'm in Michigan.

JLC said...

And such a journey it has been so far. I hope your flight will be a smooth one and you find yourself home and safe in no time. Will you dad keep his condo in Zihua? Will you be able to visit Ibis often?

My heart and arms go out to you. (hug)

Natasha Fondren said...

Stupid campground internet. I left a long and heartfelt comment. :-( And I really wanted to give you a virtual hug before you left, but I don't suppose it would have made you feel any better.

Well, big hugs, Melanie! And, darnit, I cried all over again. :-( I feel for you! I know a little of how hard it is to part for a long time, but not anything as long as it could be for you. :-(

Well, um, hugs, hugs, hugs, hugs, hugs. And gosh, I wish I could do something!

Natasha Fondren said...

Hugs to Ibis, too! :-(

Travis Erwin said...

And thank you for allowing us to ride along.

Stew said...

Big hugs and safe travels, Mel. *squeeze*

sonoraMike said...

Your site has been fun to follow. Good luck and everything. Mexico is going to miss you.

Robin said...

I think it's appropriate to waaah now.

Oh, Melanie! I so wish there was something I could do. It's so rotten and unfair. I'm so sad for you guys, but I know it will work out!

Crystal said...

I read your blog, but I have never left a comment. I know you must feel so sad about having to leave your husband behind. I was crying as I was reading your poem. I guess I was imagining myself and when my fiance goes back to Mexico. I plan to go with him, but he lives on a really small ranch like town and I do not know if I would ever be able to get used to it. I would have to come back to the US and leave him behind... ok that's enough of that I am going to cry again.
Good Luck to you and what is your other blog address?

Erica said...

Lovely poem Mel. I know this must be hard, but from what I've read on this blog - you are strong. I'll see ya over at Hoosblog ;o) Hope your trip is uneventful ;o)

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks AB.

Wendy, this actually took a couple drafts to write, so I've got it backed up. My other posts I usually just write in blogger.

Kev, I hope you're right.

Thanks Lurker.

Mary, I'm so glad we've gotten to be friends. See, Mexico wasn't all bad!That's one thing I'll always be thankful for.

Thanks Janet. The computer is here & I'm about to start her up.

Rachel, people keep saying that but I don't feel brave.

Melanie Avila said...

Jen, we want to sell the condo but the market is horrible right now. If we can break even, we'll sell. I hope to visit in a few months, but it all depends on the money situation.

Thanks Natasha. It's meant a lot to have so many people supporting me (and us).

Travis, I'm so happy to have had you all here. :)

Thanks Trish.

Thanks Mike.

Robin, waaaaaah away. :)

Hi Crystal. I'm so sorry to hear you're going though a similar situation. It really sucks and it's hard to completely change your life like that. Good luck to you. The new blog is melanieavila.wordpress.com .

Thanks Erica. I certainly don't feel strong, but I'm also not a puddle of snot so I guess I am a little. Or I'm just avoiding things. ;)

Nadine said...

This post was absolutely beautiful.