It is 4:30 am as I’m writing this, me and my family are packed into my mothers Nissan rogue with my grandma’s several suitcases, packed with gifts for my family members back home. I am filled with pain and worry since this may be my last seeing my grandma in person. As I was driving her to my aunt’s house she told me that she doesn’t think she can make another trip to the US. Time has taken its its toll on her, as it will on all of us.(her words not mine). This is not the first time I’ve had to do this, I recall her first visit here in 2018, that departure was the hardest. My mother after not being able to hug her mother for 19 years was saying goodbye once again. It was a moment filled with a somber love. I hated seeing her like this, feeling so much sadness and yearning and love all at the same time. I found myself comforting her more than I’ve ever done so. As unbelievable as it seems, I’m usually a more reserved and distant person when it comes to either showing emotion. I’m of the belief that when people are sad, they need space and time to heal. At least that’s what I need. However, seeing my mother that way hurt, I held her, kissed her head and reassured her this wouldn’t be the last time we see her. I’m not sure I can do that this time.
Having my grandma visit always brings up mixed feeling for me. For one, it reminds me how separated my family is here in the US. Yesterday I saw my maternal aunt for the first time in 5 years. We cut off communication with her for reasons that seem so insignificant in retrospect. It boils down to a sibling jealousy, rivalry, and ill-will that’s far older than me. She hugged me and we pretended that our families aren’t currently not on speaking terms. She didn’t know I wasn’t working at DHL anymore, or that I’m a semester (and a summer course) away from getting my masters. I like keeping things close to the chest and my family respects that.
Another thing her visits makes me think about is the struggle in her life. Having 9 children with a man who had four other families that he abandoned. (I’ll speak about my maternal grandfather another time. its a doozy). Only three surviving to adulthood: Colón, Johnny Angela, Celeste, Erick, Mary-Lou. (EXTRA POINTS ON THE QUIZ IF YOU CAN GUESS WHICH NAME IS MY MOM) Having to take care of her disabled daughter for 50 plus years, along side her three grand daughters: Erika-Belen (13) Samantha (8) and Aisha (7). When will this woman get a break. I fear the only rest will be in death as morbid as that sounds, but that’s a bigger fear: The impact her absences will have on all of us.
Okay, wipe the metaphorical tears, lets get academic.
Last post I mentioned that I had to review the articles I gathered that were based on masculinity. Having found a total of seven I read them and decided that four had the necessary substance I need for my own thesis. These are:
- Factors Influencing Masculinity Ideology among Latino Men by Pedro Saez, Adonaid Casado, Jay Wade
- First-Generation Latino Men’s Perceptions of Masculinity During Their Higher Education Experience by Moises Alvarado Garcia,
- More Than Muscles, Money, or Machismo Latino Men and the Stewardship of Masculinity by Andrew S. Walters & Ivan Valenzuela
- Machismo and Caballerismo Linked with Perceived Social Discrimination and Powerlessness in U.S. Latino Men by Helen M. Hendy, S. Hakan Can ,and Hartmut Heep
However, the other three sources will not go to waste. I plan on scouring their references in order to make some use of them. Adding these into my literature review I now have 18 sources. Since I have all my sources separated into folders on Google Drive, its hard to see the work I’ve put into my thesis. However, taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture I feel proud of what I’ve accomplished so far.