Love Songs

Normally on Thursday of each week I begin to get what feels like inspired thoughts for my next WOW post, and I start to draft it the next day with a view to posting it on the weekend.

But this week I was thrown off course by medical matters – preparing for, going to, and recovering from medical tests that I’d been postponing and, honestly, dreading. My M.O. when it comes to doctors has always been to avoid them unless or until things look dire. This situation seemed to qualify.

My internist here in San Miguel de Allende, a young woman who appears to be no more than thirteen years old, sent me for tests in Celaya, an old colonial city (founded in 1571) a little over an hour away. As I understood it, the hospital there had the best, most up-to-date equipment for what I needed done. I dressed in black (as if for my own funeral?) and tried to stand tall.

My Mexican friend Ramiro took me there and stood by me, pretending, it seemed to me, to be my husband. The doctor who performed the tests held my hand as he explained (in Spanish) what he was about to do. I understood some of what he said.

The nurses and technicians were kind and gentle. One technician spoke English. She said to me, “You must help us.” She made me feel as if I were part of a team. After it was all over, Ramiro took me to a food stall at the mercado for chicken soup. I hadn’t eaten in two days, so I was feeling weak and trembly. It was the best chicken soup I’d ever had.

This is a love song.

While Ramiro and I waited the two hours before returning to the hospital for the x-rays and written results to take back to my doctor here, we walked around the glorious city center in the sunny, springlike weather.

We stopped into the cool, dark San Francisco church (built in 1715), where we sat for a short while to pray before we moseyed on. Along the way we heard a man in a passageway playing a guitar and singing beautifully, so Ramiro, ever outgoing and ready to sing, joined him in a duet.

Then Ramiro asked me to sit beside the old balladeer, whose name, I learned, was Marcos, so Ramiro could take my picture as Marcos serenaded me with Mexican songs filled with the words amor (love) and corazon (heart).

Marcos serenading me in Celaya

This is a love song.

The medical results revealed no tumors – which, of course, are what I’d been sure were lurking inside of me – only, it appears, age-related issues I’ll have to live with for maybe a long time. I plan to live out that time here in Mexico, which is so filled with corazon.

I have friends in the States who tell me they’re hesitant to visit me in Mexico because they’re afraid of the dangers. These friends, though highly intelligent and educated, seem to have accepted the bad press Mexico gets in the U.S. as truth. Many other Americans, I’m afraid, buy into the wicked things the President-and-Bully-in-Chief has said about Mexico and its people. If only they knew the truth.

I took this photo on our walk in Celaya’s centro because it symbolized the day for me: blue sky, crumbling old walls that are (despite all) still standing, pretty flowers that sing of life and hope:

It is a love song.

20 thoughts on “Love Songs”

  1. So glad you were checked out. Even gladder to see the lovely serenade and know you will continue this life in San Miguel!

  2. Bonnie, I’m so glad your tests went well. I am like you. I hate to go for fear of what they are going to find next!
    I have to disagree with you though and agree with some of your friends when they say they worry about the dangers in Mexico. It has nothing to do with what our President is now saying, but a true understanding that for years we all have heard of the many dangers to be wary of when traveling to Mexico. I for one have never wanted to visit there. It is a known fact of the tremendous problem with drugs and drug trafficking down there. Not to mention the kidnappings. It may be safe in your village, but there are very dangerous places there as well. Unfortunately my friend’s friend who travels to Mexico regularly for his job and is fluent in Spanish had drugs planted in his rental car and was stopped and searched at the border where they were discovered. Fortunately, his company was able to bail him out finally but not before he had been hauled off to jail. A very scary situation!
    I have even heard of bad situations at some of the nicer resorts too.
    I’m glad for your sake that you have found a place where you feel safe and can call it home.
    Best wishes, Pam

    1. Yes, Pam, there are certainly true bad-news stories about Mexico, just as there are about the States (school shootings, for example). Evil lurks everywhere in the world. I just want to shine a light on the bright sides of Mexico to balance the scales a bit. The city (not village) where I live, San Miguel de Allende, in the central mountains, has been recently voted the Best City in the World (of its size, I’m assuming) by Travel + Leisure magazine. You must come and see for yourself. I know you’d love it too.

  3. Well, aren’t you the gorgeous gal. You don’t look like you’d have anything “age related.” Glad all is well. I was almost kidnapped in Mexico in my 20’s. But wasn’t. It was kind of an amazing adventure. Especially because it didn’t happen. I don’t think anyone would want to kidnap me now. I’ve always felt safe in my many trips to Mexico. Good to have plenty of love songs. Helaine

    1. Thanks, Helaine! I’ll be 73 this coming May 18th. My suggestion to my cohort: Always make sure your picture is taken from a great distance. Makes a huge difference. 🙂

  4. So glad you will be ok, Bonnie. Always look forward to your writings and I want to read them for many years to come.

  5. What reassuring news of you test results! You clearly can turn a trip to the doctor into a lovely outing! Love and stay healthy! Marge

  6. Dear Bon,
    I am so relieved your tests were negative. Your post seemed so dire at the beginning.

    Sorry to have been out of touch. I had a really busy fall between school and work. I saved all your posts since September, and then I read them all at once a few weekends ago. Read that way, it seemed like I was reading your Mexican memoir rather than your blog.

    This spring I’m writing my thesis. I’m writing about the Charlotte Bronte novel Villette. I was not familiar with it until I read it last fall. It’s a beautiful book. I think Charlotte Bronte is a genius. The novel is based on her experiences teaching in Brussels, which she refers to as Villette in the novel.

    I thought you looked beautiful in the picture too. You rarely include pictures of yourself, so I was delighted to see it. My reaction had nothing to do with your distance from the camera. Whether up close or far away, you have the radiant beauty of that which comes from within.

    Even when I am out of touch, you are ever in my thoughts.

    Much love,

    1. Dearest Paul — So good to hear from you. I know how busy you’ve been; no need to apologize. You are always in my thoughts too. Now I must read, on your recommendation, Villette, which I confess I’ve never read. As I read it, I’ll be cheering you on in your thesis writing! Mucho love, siempre, BB xx

  7. Yes I agree – it’s a love song living here in Mexico. Life is different here and you just need to look around to see the love.
    Hugs dear friend

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