My family is large. I mean, LARGE – my mom one of thirteen. That’s right folks; thirteen and my dad is one of seven. Combined, I have a total of eighteen aunts and uncles. All of which got married and had children and in the process, nearly tripled the size of my family. So large definitely isn’t an exaggeration.
And while there are so many elements to my family, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the women; from aunts to cousins, I have always been inspired by the effortless power the ladies of my family just exude, they were women who had lived hard lives and came out the other side swinging. They are the definition of proud Mexicana’s.
As you can imagine my family reunions are crazy – we have yet to find a house that fits all of us comfortably, and I honestly don’t think we ever will. I grew up looking up to these sassy, fearless ladies with gold dripping from their bodies, quite literally, my growth spurt didn’t come until I was a sophomore in high school. I was always just waiting for the next reunion because the interaction between the ladies was astounding to me. As a shy little girl, I was extremely observant. I didn’t really like to be a part of anything but I loved to watch everything.
I would watch how confident my mother and aunts were with themselves and around others. Their conversations consisted of speech so quick; you would miss an entire story if you looked away for just a second, and laughter that was so infectious it could fill any home. Their nights consisted of dancing to every song that came on, and dragging everyone onto the dance floor – including myself, no matter how much I refused. They seemed invincible, because they weren’t afraid of anything.
I have never been into comic books, but they seemed as close to superheroes as you could get. They weren’t afraid to be funny or opinionated; most importantly they were never afraid to be heard. They didn’t take any sh*t from anyone and that has always been my favorite quality if I do say so myself. They were this band of strong women that ran my family with grace and finesse. And as you can imagine these women bred a generation just as strong as they are.
My cousins are another type of fearless; they are braving the world that’s filled with stigmas and social standards that at times seems impossible to win. But they do it with the same amount of grace and finesse that my aunts do. They are all beautifully independent and have made lives for themselves that are all incredibly different, but still amazing all the same. Some who have had daughters of their own, who I’m sure are teaching them the same lessons that we learned.
I have always been so grateful for this family and this group of women because without them I don’t think life would have been the same. It would certainly be lacking a lot of laughs and incredibly good food, and while the years have largely changed the dynamic of this family, these will always be the women that inspire me to be proud of who I am. These will always be the women that encourage me to live the life that I want. And these will always be the women that have taught me to never think less of myself and to always live with grace. We are a family of mujeres fuertes and that will never change.