A letter to the woman who made me a woman

If airport walls could talk about so many things, they would, for example, talk about the mixed feelings at farewell moments with friends or family, when part of your heart stays with them and the other part opens up to new worlds. Today I will be sharing with you, my friends, readers, one of those decisive moments in which you leave because you know in the depths of your heart that it is the best decision and at the same time you wish that when you return from those trips you will have the joy of finding your loved ones intact.

September 12, 2018, almost 6 p.m., at the International Departure Hall at El Dorado Airport in the capital of Colombia, Bogotá. There amid the hustle and bustle of travelers I was in the company of my dear parents and one of my sisters, on my way to India, an enigmatic and seductive country. I received the blessing of Eduardo and Alicia; and with an almost rough voice I promised to see them again at the end of my work contract, reiterating that no matter the circumstances, the age or the country, the warmth of home is the ultimate treasure that any human being can experience. One of my sisters who accompanied me at this critical moment looked at me with emotion, and we both let some tears run down our cheeks. I left in peace and with the confidence of knowing that with the care of my two older sisters; my parents, now almost 80 years old, would be in very best hands.

The walk to the exit gate was smooth; my body, mind, and spirit were ready to embark on a journey for the right motivations. There was the 38-year-old woman, taking charge of her life, with clear personal and intellectual goals and an enormous desire to explore new cultures and exchange a fascinating life journey with new people. One day, at the age of 23, she had the opportunity to set foot on foreign lands for the first time in order to escape from a youthful whim, which led her for 7 years to a relationship of codependence in which she was shedding daisies and in which, for each fallen petal, she mortgaged part of her joy and inner peace.

During almost 40 long hours of travel between stopovers and flight time, I imagined over and over again what my encounter with the vibrant culture of India would be like. When I arrived at my final destination, the city of Chennai, known until a few years ago as Madras, capital of Tamil Nadu, I was utterly exhausted. The next day I realized the intense heat of the city; comparable to the intensity of the colors of the sarees. The smells of incense and coconut oils were everywhere, as well as imposing temples of unique beauty that give a special character to the city; and of course, the flower vendors in every corner. The delicious food, the harmonies flavors, you want to repeat once and a thousand times. However, above all the broad smile of the people and their beautiful and mysterious looks.

So it is this journey that has been special; a voyage of charms and disappointments but special; a wild and subtle trip at the same time. Just today when I begin to count down to return to my country, I can say that the experience in India changed my vision of the world. Deep in my heart, I know that one part of my life will stay here and another will long to see my family again in Colombia. I do not know if this will be the final return to my country or if on the contrary, it will be the beginning of the journeys I feel will come. If so, I want the time I can spend at home to be the best; if it is for a long time, taking care of my parents would be an honor and if it is for a short stay; that it would be nice to share with them my best moments and then continue my path, my destiny, my calling. That’s where the dilemma will be inevitable.

From a distance, I begin to value more those arrival doors in the airports where the families are grateful for the reunion. Seeing my loved ones again is priceless, feeling loved as a daughter has been the best gift of my life and merging in a hug with my mother, the woman who made me what I am will be the best of the balsams. Alicia, my beloved Alicia; yes me at the age of six I recited to you many times the childlike innocent poem which said: “A rose fell from the sky, my mother picked it up, she put it on her beautiful head, and that beauty remained with her;” this time mother would do it with greater feeling, because thanks to her I understood that my birth was not a mistake. You beautiful women put it not only on your head but also in your heart and made it the most beautiful of gardens. Thank you mother; neither my words nor my actions will be able to thank you for the work you did in my life. You are the best example of God’s love made flesh.

What a beautiful gift to know that on my return my parents will be waiting for me at the airport and again I will have the privilege of looking them in the eye and telling them; today I keep my promise to being here; thank you for taking care of yourself and staying strong like the oaks. My heart is filled with joy when I know that I will be delighted again with the stories of my Alice, stories that I know by heart over the years; but because of the way they are told and the joy in their words, they never cease to surprise me as if it were the first time.

I wouldn’t have a better gift like caressing my parents’ faces, pampering them, cutting and taking care of their nails like only a loving daughter knows how, making them to the beauty salon, walking with them through the streets of Bogota and enjoying with them in a cafeteria a cup of the best coffee in the world, Colombian coffee.

Moreover, of course, I miss trying my mother’s delicious dishes, especially her empanadas. I can bet that if Colombia’s coffee is the best in the world, my mother’s empanadas are the most delicious in the universe because they are made with love and affection of good essence. This time dear little mother we will play parks until dawn, and if I have to listen to the shocking blow of the dice against the game board, I will think it is the best of the melodies.

This letter dedicated to my beautiful Alice also extends to all the mothers of the world and although I haven’t had the fortune to be one, I admire all mothers for their courage, for being the source that emanates life, the safe shelter in moments of brokenness, for time, dedication and for loving their children in such unconditional ways that instead of oppressing us, they allow us to open our wings to fly in search of our destinies.