Thursday, July 29, 2010

A gift from Spain

Wow, Just when I was feeling really down and bad about things, what a surprise from left field, or really from the east- as it came from Spain. Facebook has increased the avenues that allow me to stay in touch with family and friends, however mi familia Bolin is scattered far and wide, and Facebook is the best way we can stay in touch. My nieces and nephews are in Colima, Mexico- some of them I have never met face to face- but we have been able to ‘meet’ if you will and begin to share our heritage which was presented to me in a distorted view as a child. My aunts, uncles, and cousins are to the east, in Spain- stretching from Rincon de la Victoria to Benalmadena. I am still trying to get them on Facebook, but I digress....

A few weeks ago, my nieces Lourdes and Eva were telling me that my most favorite cousin Enrique was trying to get in touch with me. He either had an old email or something not quite correct as I was not receiving anything from him. I dashed off a note to him so he would have the correct email for me. We always write in Spanish- which some days is a struggle for me, but we get our messages across. Enrique asked for my address, I could discern something about ancestors, a book- but wasn’t quite clear on the actual message. I sent him my address and didn’t think much more.

Yesterday, when I checked the mail, there was an orange slip from the post office- ‘parcel’ it said, and ‘signature required’. I knew I had not bought anything - so I really had no clue what it was.....then the item number stood out, and it ended in ‘ES’. I realized this was a package from Espana- Spain- and I had to wait until today to pick it up.

Inside my neat little package was a book that my cousin had written, Enrique Bolin, Retazos ineditos - a book that brings together his accomplishments and the stories of my family- some stories I have heard, and some new.

The book is written completely in Spanish, so it was taking me some time to understand, but then I came to a chapter that jumped out at me- ‘Mi tio Manolo’- a chapter that was about my dad- his trials and tribualtions and how he made it to where he did in life. As I read, I was shocked to see my name- I didn’t know Enrique was writing a book, and would have never thought I would have been included, but he speaks of my birth and the tragic accident that took my dad away many years ago. I kept reading, and was floored to read the final paragraph in the chapter...

“Su hija sigue viviendo en Estados Unidos uno de sus hijos. Trabaja como enfermera en un hospital y en varias ocasiones ha venido a Benalmadena a verme, pues la encanta esta tierra. Es un apasionada de los motos Harley Davidson.”

Loosely translated- he writes that I live here in the US with one of my children (although they are all grown and gone now) - and that I work as a nurse in the hospital and I travel to Benalmadena to visit him because I love Spain, the Costa del Sol and Benalmadena. It truly is my ‘home’. He shows he knows me well as he writes I am passionate about Harleys..... I feel so honored to be included in his story and as part of the family despite living an ocean away.

It is amazing how this simple kind gesture reached out over 4100 miles and embraced me- making me feel a true part of the family I came to know and love as a teenager-