About this time last year I received a phone call from my cousin Leo. Leo was getting married to Susie on October 13, 2018. This would be Leo’s first marriage, linking him to his long-time companion of over 10 years. Leo is 70 years old.
I could never forget this date because this is one of the dates that the Blessed Mother appeared to the Children in Fatima, Portugal. October 13th is also the birthday of our grandson Lucas, who turned nine years old.
On the day of the wedding I tried on several different outfits and walked downstairs for Mike’s opinion. With one quick glance, Mike gave me a thumbs up. Note to self: Never ask a man for wardrobe advice while he’s watching football.
As we were driving to San Bernardino, Mike asked me to put the address into the navigation system of my car. I had no idea that the car was equipped with this device. I pressed every single button until a map of the 91 Freeway popped up. At that point a voice from hell led us to exit every single street off the freeway. In a panic, and with Mike raising his voice to “Shut the thing off!” I pushed all the buttons again, but to no avail. Mike finally exited the freeway to get gas in a scary part of town, and to silence the voice of the navigational device. Nothing worked; even when we turned on the radio, the music was interrupted by an eerie cry telling us to exit. We were so preoccupied with the commotion that we arrived early to the wedding.
The Elks Club is located high on a hill in San Bernardino. The city’s flickering light added to the romance of my cousin’s wedding. As we walked in we were warmly greeted by Delia, our oldest female cousin and sister to Leo. We selected an empty table dressed in an array of fall colors, near the dance floor. We waited for other cousins to join us. The San Diego clan arrived: Nellie G., Roxie and my 90-year-old Tia Esperanza, then my cousin Ricky, his wife Maria and my 94-year-old Tia Maria. My Tia Maria is the last of the Lopez Family, and we make it a point to try to visit her often.
You are never too old to say,”I do” to the one you love. Leo and Susie looked very content, and we were all blessed to be part of the most important day of their lives.
We are a large extended family, as my mother comes from a family of 10, which produced 52 first cousins. To see many of my cousins in an environment of celebration was heartwarming. I have not danced like this in quite some time. Mike had several of my cousins dancing with us as well. We danced to Chubby Checker’s “The Twist,” we danced the Jerk, along with the “Wooly Bully,” and “Night Fever” by the Bee Gees. My cousins Nellie P. and Elvia jitterbugged like they did when they were young girls. My adorable cousin Sandra got so overheated on the dance floor that she wore a menu around her waist and pulled it out, using it as a fan in order to cool herself off. My Tia Esperanza danced with her daughters and put us all to shame. I pray that when I am 90 years old I can still shake a leg the way she did.
With my hair soaked from all the dance moves, at 10:30 Mike announced that it was time to go home. I walked out of the hall dancing, saying my good-byes as we left.
As soon as we backed up the car, the navigation device started again; this weird voice was telling us to exit. This was driving me crazy, so I asked Mike to please make it stop, but nothing would shut the system down. I tried to drown out the voice by mentally singing different songs in my head, but this made me feel even crazier. As the 45-minute drive home was a torment, I finally gave in and surrendered the commotion to God. I hated my new car and wanted to trade it in as soon as possible. I reminded Mike that I had to teach a class of Catechumens Sunday morning, and that I was hoping this problem could be resolved by then. Mike fixed the annoyance, but never again will I use the navigation in the Prius.
Everything Has Its Time
3 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance…
I remain the self-appointed Presidente of the Lopez Clan, and my prayer always go out for my family.