Last night I sat around with the women in my family. Strong, beautiful, Latina women – all with a story of their own full of triumph, defeat, lows and highs. But together, we laugh, learn, and live through it all. We are each other’s rock, strong and though we may break, we turn those pebbles into beautiful masterpieces. We are a mosaic table, once broken and now beautifully supporting those who depend on us to hold them up.
Every year in December my great-grandmother on my Dad’s side of the family and all the women, 18 years old and older gather together for what we call BMW. Beautiful Mexican Women. We always joke that we’re the Big Mexican Women 😉 We have fun with it. None of us are skinny, so we have some love to give in that department!
Each year is different. The very first year it was my great-grandmother, Matilde Reyes, her daughter (my grandmother) Vangie Garibay, my mom Janie Garibay (the daughter-in-law to Vangie), and my aunts Carol Garza and Sandra Garibay (daughter’s to Vangie). I was a teenager when the BMW’s first formed and we really can’t remember what year it all began, I just remember I was too young to go. Back then the requirement to be in their little “club” was to be married. I was still in high school and definitely didn’t qualify. I remember feeling so left out! Ha! Becoming a BMW is now a right of passage for the women in my family and our first BMW experience is always special.
That first get together, so many years ago now, the five of them took a short trip to Lubbock, Texas from Midland, Texas. I am 100% positive there wasn’t a minute of silence on that road-trip and they probably laughed the entire way. My family is crazy! While in Lubbock they tell us they shopped and ate and enjoyed each other as much as possible. This was before my great-grandmother had Dementia, so these memories of my great-grandmother’s presence is always special. She did not join us this year, but she was with us in our hearts. Her Dementia has really taken her memories from her, but her spirit is alive and well. She’s as spunky as ever!
These bold, beautiful women have kept this tradition alive through the years. I was the first granddaughter to join, as I am the oldest of all the grandchildren. I was the first to have my first child and the first to get married, so there’s that. I remember my mom being proud that I was there, they now had one more. From then on more and more of us joined the group and now there’s 13 of us, but I don’t remember a time that all 13 of us were present. I’ve missed a few due to living somewhere else, and trust me, I felt left out. Not anyone’s fault, it’s just such a special day for all of us and we hate missing out! It’s always a fun, silly, crazy time.
Each year has been different, a few times we’ve even brought our girly children along with us! We make a whole day of it, we have brunch, watch a movie or go to a play, we go shopping, we go to dinner, and we spend the evening exchanging gifts and drinking wine at one of our homes. This year, though, because I haven’t been feeling well and I’ve been having several seizures, we decided to keep is low key and not make it a whole day. Though some of the ladies did go to a play around 2pm, I decided to save my energy for the evening fun.
At 6:30 pm we all met at one of my aunt’s home, where she had on display a snowman and a Santa with the faces cut out for photos. We played around with those like we were 5 years old…it was fun! We all brought appetizers to snack on through the night and drank wine. We even played that new game, Speak Out. HILARIOUS!! I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. I’ve been depressed lately because of the increase in seizures and hemiplegic migraine episodes. I definitely needed this. I laughed so hard I started getting a migraine, but it was worth it! Sometimes I know if I do something specific I will probably get a migraine, but sometimes you just have to hope for the best and do it anyway. I’m tired of missing out on life’s pleasures.
I am on a pretty strict diet, but I let loose last night and I cheated. I didn’t feel bad about it and it might have set me back and I might have a few symptoms because of it, but I’m okay with that. I realize I’m depressed about being sick so often, but to be sick this time was my choice, so I don’t feel bad about it this time. Seizures and severe migraine are not my usual choice, but I miss laughing like that and I miss seeing my family. I don’t get out of my house very often when I relapse like I have lately. It’s exactly what I needed, migraine be damned!