In July 2018, I stopped living in Mexico, my native country and became a foreigner in the place I lived in. One of the most asked question, after asking where I am from, is: what do you miss the most from Mexico?
Family and friends, is what I always answer. Taking advantage of the time of crisis and reflection, I want to write about the details I miss that, until I found myself far from them, I did not know they were invaluable treasures in my life.
First treasure – The weekly visit to my parents
Each Sunday, I traveled the short ten-minute trip from my house to my parents’ house. I parked my car and knocked the door, and I remember with the “Chuyito is here” warmth that fills from head to toes. I miss the smile in my mom’s and dad’s face when they saw me at the door, and the care with which they hugged me, even if they saw me only six days ago. I miss the talks at the kitchen, while they served me food and told me about what happened in the week. My mother scolding my father because he wanted to eat again. Most of the times my sister was also home and came out of her bedroom to join the conversation. I miss her loving greeting when she saw me in the kitchen and asked me about my week. I miss spending the afternoons with them and that they said goodbye with the same love with which they welcomed me, and watch their house become smaller in the rear-view mirror, while thinking how lucky I was for having a family like them.
Second treasure – Family lunch
Sometimes, the visit to my parents was interchanged for a family dinner, where we agreed to meet at a restaurant with my sister, my brother and my sister-in-law and my two nephews, although at that time I only had one nephew. I miss arriving and seeing my parents there, who usually arrived first. We waited until the entire family was reunited to start ordering, or serving ourselves since we preferred places with a buffet. I miss the conversations about which dishes were the best, sharing pieces to taste and decide if they were worth standing up again to get some of them. I miss the laughs and the comments of what was going on in our lives. I miss seeing my nephew in his miniature clothes and seeing his abilities grow more and more. I miss my mom always insisting in taking a picture of all of us, that have become great memories and treasures that I look at from time to time. At the end, with our bellies completely full of food, we said goodbye with love and each one of us went to our cars to continue the Sunday routine.
Third treasure – Visiting my brother’s house
Now that doing it is no longer possible, I regret not making them as often as I should. I miss going to my brother’s house, who lived very close to my home. I liked entering this world, with my brother and sister-in-law happily welcoming me. I miss seeing my nephew, he taking my hand and showing me his toys and playing with him, smiling every time I played like he wanted. I miss talking to my brother in person, the only one I know with almost identical tastes for movies and series, and that he showed me some song he was working on. I miss my nephews’ toddler voice and I really wish I could go again and interact with my two nephews. I miss saying goodbye to them, and watch my nephew continue with his games, that are part of his world and his lessons to grow.
Fourth treasure – Videogame nights (Gamer nights)
When our agendas allowed it, on Fridays, we organized a videogame night at my house. I was very excited when it was going to be a gamer night. I left work early and charged all the controllers’ batteries. I went to the supermarkets to buy appetizers and a sushi tray, and if I could not find one, I would ask someone to bring a pizza. I left everything ready before they arrived. I miss being in my room, hear the doorbell and run downstairs to see who it was. My sister and my brother-in-law were usually the first ones to arrive, with the pizzas (if it was the case). We went to my game room and played a little while waiting for the others. My brother also arrived first, staying only a little while because he became a father, he came with his son and we took turns entertaining while the other one played. Almost always we played Mario Kart and Smash Brothers, Nintendo will always be my first option for friend gatherings. I miss playing and hear the doorbell ringing. We were never more than six or seven, but the fun was the same. My best friend was usually the last one to arrive, but he was always there. I miss the screams of frustration, fright, and joy when someone won. We took a break to go downstairs and eat sushi or pizza, drinking the red soda my sister and my best friend loved, talking about series, movies, games and other stuff. Then me continued with the gamer night. We never kept score of who was winning, because the win was celebrated each game. I miss the hours passing by without us noticing them, until someone realized it was very late and time to go. I miss the goodbyes at the door, watching each one walking to their cars. It was time to clean, that never took me more than ten minutes. I miss going to bed with a smile in my face, full of food and videogames.
Fifth treasure – Movies with my friends
Although there are movie theaters and friends in all places I have lived in, it is not the same to organize going out with specific friends. With my best friend, and sometimes another one, we would look for new horror movies to watch. I miss looking at the schedules to best accommodate our time, and that my best friend told me he was scared, but he would still watch it with me. I liked to see my best friend’s evolution that started hating horror movies and me having to beg them to join me, and later watch him being excited and suggesting horror movies to watch. I miss having friends for each type of movies, the conversations before it started, the lines to choose and buy food. With each friend it was different, not only the movie genre but the food we liked. I miss the talks after the movie, discussing the plot and the points we did not like in the story, or our favorite moments.
I could keep numbering more, but I think it is enough for now. I am happy with the life I have now, seeing my dreams become real one by one. But it is important to remember those valuable things, those treasures you cannot find everywhere, specially because sometimes, it is not mere distance that makes us stop doing them.
Enjoy each stage in your lives, the present is also full of treasures to discover. Look at the past with a smile, without having to wish to go back to it.
To my family and friends reading this small entry: you are the biggest treasure I have. No matter where in the world I am, I always remember you with love.
Feel free to contact me for questions or additional comments in: firstname.lastname@example.org.