Happy anniversary! I wanted to write you to thank you for what you’ve done for me. It was three years ago that I came to meet you–and I remember my loneliest New Year’s Eve in a hotel listening to fireworks booming outside. I was nervous to say the least. I had heard the worst stories about you! In fact, that night in the hotel, I huddled beneath the blankets with great trepidation.
They said to be careful. After all, my countrymen were disappearing by the dozens. They said to watch what I ate and drank, and I admit, I was worried too those first few days! They encouraged me to try to communicate with you–but it took me a few weeks to open up to you. They weren’t always right about you, but they said what they said with the best of intentions.
Mexico, I have to tell you, they don’t really know you like I do. They are used to walking around with their noses stuck in their smart phones. They don’t look up enough. If they did, they would see the curiosity on the faces of your people. They would see the colors of the buildings (just as bright as Charleston’s Rainbow Row). They don’t know you very well, or they wouldn’t write so much about the scary things. And they most certainly haven’t had enough of your street food and lemonade with questionable ice. You offer so much more than cartels, mass graves, and dishonesty. There is a side of you that they don’t get to see enough of–and it is time you let that side show!
You have been good to me. He used to say, “Give me your tired, your poor…” but he doesn’t really mean it. I know. I left when I was poor and broken– and YOU are the one that healed me. You picked me up, and dusted off my britches. You put band-aids on my wounds, and told me that everything would be alright. You helped me stop looking at what I had left behind long enough to see what was ahead of me. And the wooing… oh, how you wooed me! Before I knew it, I was your’s for the taking. YOU did that, Mexico. You helped me to love again.
The first year with you, I found my heart. What a gift you gave me in my sweet husband! The second year you stretched my capacity to love even more–and that sweet man gave me a sweeter hijita. She shines with the brightest of light–and I know that God’s plan for her is great. Finally, in year three I became permanently yours–free to go and work where I will within your borders. What will this year bring me? What do you have in store for me now, Mexico?
I am ready. If I have learned anything in three years, it is to embrace you with open arms.