By: Elisabet Medina
At first, I really didn't want to go to El Sauce. I wanted a vacation which in my mind meant sand, ocean, and a drink in my hand far away from the demands of daily life and the stomach turning news. Yet, on the last day of our trip that is exactly where I found myself. We took the road from Managua, to Leon, to my abuelita's and mother's hometown El Sauce, a place I had heard about but never seen for myself.
When I stepped into my abuelita's house- slabs of concrete, chickens scattered, I found something I could not have found anywhere else, the beginning of our family's story. People who knew my abuelita, recounted stories that I had never heard before. It was difficult to imagine the small 5 foot, modest, elderly woman I knew selling cigarettes and nacatamales to men outside of a bar even with the disclaimer that this was before she became a Christian of course.
I felt humbled to think of all that my abuelita had sacrificed to ensure her family would have a better life; and how far we all had come. It made me want to prosper, to be a blessing to others, it made me hunger to be all that that I could be given all the privileges I have. They worked too hard, for too long, in the mundane and tedious for me to sit back and take the life I have for granted.
It has been said that we are our ancestors wildest dreams. Yes, and I believe that my life is the answer to my abuelita's prayers. She would pray one hour in the morning, and one hour at night naming each of her children and grandchildren. She would shut her eyes and raise her hands to heaven firmly believing that God heard her.
I would be remiss if I didn't state that this family story is not without its pain, its traumas, its detours and grief like any other family story. What I can say is that I am confident that the goodness of God covers it all and that by grace we are still standing resilient.
Nowadays its hard to believe in answered prayers or miracles, but I feel I am living proof, a manifestation of all she had asked God to provide for her family. Even through layers of war, migration, assimilation and integration of our family into a new country- it was there on that small porch, in that small town, I felt more connected to her story than ever before.
Coming back to the states, my phone was abuzz with a government shutdown and a raging immigration debate. To me this debate is personal, affecting people that still hope and dream about America as the land of opportunity, to obtain an education, to start a business, and build a life, that would not have been possible in the homeland. My abuelita, my mother, and the women in my family are prayer warriors and I cannot help but want to continue fighting and advocating for others both in prayer and in action to keep families together, protect children and carve a path forward for generations to come.
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