In today’s society we tend to be super focused on the future and what is happening here and now. Many people, including myself, forget that there is still so much to learn from the past. Yes, we all know major historical events and study them in school, but how many of you know the stories of our parents and grandparents?
My grandma, Loreto, recently had her 92nd birthday, and when I went home to celebrate I realized just how much I didn’t know about her. I came to find out that I wasn’t the only one, either. All the grandchildren heard new stories and found out more about the woman who always has been the root of our family. Another concept that none of us had thought of, is how much advice she has that can help with our problems today.
As the second to the youngest child, I never expected to hear advice about love and relationships. I knew at one point in time she was married, but I never knew my grandpa, nor did she every remarry. So, when she came to me and gave me advice about how to handle a problem with my ex-girlfriend, I went into shock, but was completely thankful for her advice. After Grandma Loreto finished helping me, my cousin Ernesto asked for proposal help. Her advice was to give him romantic ideas such as riverbank picnic or an all day excursion at a secluded lake.
After listening to my Grandma give all this amazing advice I thought I would ask her more about her past and some of her biggest challenges. The first thing that came to her mind was her experience with trying to immigrate to the United States. After her husband died, she came as a single mother of 5 children in the early 70’s. After moving to Texas and learning English, Loreto attempted to become an American citizen. She had to fight for almost a year and half before she finally got her citizenship.
Through out the whole process Loreto complained that everybody cared more about her late husband then herself. This was her first relization that feminism was needed. She said at one point in time, she was told that if she had a husband the whole process would have been easier. As it was, her sons received their citizenship faster and easier simply because they were men. After that she started her fight for women’s rights, so my mom and aunts would not have to.
This was my Grandma’s fight for feminism and my first example of a strong woman.
We all have problems to face, whether they are for social justice or personal problems. Either way, we all have plenty to learn from our elders. They will not be around forever and we should learn from them while we still have the opportunity.