One thing we know about life is that nobody gets out alive. Our rural community has been rocked by deaths in the last few months. Two awesome family men are being mourned. The community has been completely stunned by the losses.
The main question we have asked is, “Why?” We may never understand. I hate that feeling of helplessness that follows the news. How can we help the grieving family members? All that comes to mind is pray and “help them cry.”
The scariest part is that both men were seemingly healthy fellows. That just goes to show when death comes for us, we can’t say, “Can you come back later? I have some things to wrap up first.” Mourning our losses has brought us all closer to our own feelings about mortality. We have been forcefully reminded that when it’s our time to go, nothing can stop it. I plan to make every day count.
There’s a saying in Mexico: pueblo pequeno, infierno grande. That means small town, big Hell. Based on my observations both in Mexico and the U. S., I would say it’s quite accurate. The rumor mill cranks up at the slightest hint of “news.” The rumors themselves spread at the speed of light, each version getting more outrageous. I think people make up things to fill in the blanks.
Shortly after moving to Mexico, two ladies with a Chihuahua showed up at my gate. She wanted me to take a look at her dog. There was a spot on his back that looked like maybe an insect bite or something. I was understandably puzzled by her request. I looked, told her I had no idea and sent her to the local animal supply store for a better answer. Turns out, she had “heard” I was a vet. It made sense to her, I figure, because I did move there with some pets.
The gossip changed periodically, but I was a hot topic for quite a while. My neighbor and friend, Marta, kept me updated. It’s a good thing I was paying attention because they knew things about me that I didn’t even know! I went from a veterinarian to a drug dealer overnight! I just laughed it all off. When someone finally asked me, I was happy to tell the truth: I am a teacher. I must not have had any street cred as a “narcotraficante” (drug dealer) because I was teaching English classes soon after.
The thing about a small town is that threads of kinship, friendship or work connect everyone. I just like to listen; it’s amazing what can be learned by being silent. At least that way I don’t stick my foot in my mouth!
our humble Mexican abode