Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Life, Death, and the Day-to-Day: November 30, 2010

Tonight, in our Casa Verde, life, death, and the day-to-day all converged at one point in time, as we commemorated, celebrated, and practiced each of these milestones simultaneously.
On Sunday, we learned of the death of a baby, just four days old, who was the son of two of Pete’s friends. This touched our hearts and we were deeply saddened for their loss; a life just begun.
On Monday, we learned of the death of a classmate of Pete’s from college, who died in a car accident on Thanksgiving morning. This also saddened us deeply for the loss of a life; a man so young and in his prime. 
Today, when we went to the store, I felt moved to buy to candles to light in their memory, so we did: two star-shaped candles, one red, one white.
Today, my friend from college turned 25 years old. I wished her ¡feliz cumpleaños! on facebook earlier today. My friend lives in the US but is of Mexican descent and is very connected to her culture and family here in México. Her birthday wish for me was that we drink a Victoria (beer) in her honor. Today at the store, we bought Victoria and a tequila con toronja (mixed drink of tequila and grapefruit soda) to celebrate her birthday. 
Tonight, in our Casa Verde, we lit the candles to commemorate the lives and passing of Emmett and Naeem. We toasted and drank to honor and celebrate Lorena’s 25 years of life. We also played our favorite game here: a Monopoly card game. We play this game almost every day, almost always multiple rounds. We first learned the game because it was given as a gift for the kids to play and we thought we would try to learn how to play it before teaching it to the kids. We found it so confusing the first few times we tried to play that we decided that it would most likely be too complex for the majority of the kids; not to mention that it would not work if cards turned up missing, which would likely happen soon after handing it over to the children. Once we finally grasped the purpose and strategies of the game, we were hooked. It is special to us because it is one activity that we do together--just the two of us. We understand it and enjoy it together often. It has become a part of our daily life, living in Mexico.  
I was struck by how we were celebrating life, commemorating death, and engaging in our daily practice all at once this evening. How symbolic? Doesn’t that say a lot about how life is? At any given time, it’s not all celebration, it’s not all pain, it’s not all monotony or routine. It’s a mixture of all of those things. I caught a glimpse of that truth in a very real way tonight.