Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hard to Love

While all the haters and anti-immigrant folk and just the general confused population are out there wondering how/why I "settled" for a poor Mexican immigrant, I'm just thinking this:

I hate to refer to another Lee Brice song, but shit, I am hard to love. Lee Brice isn't even close to one of my favorite artists, but his songs seem to have plucked my heart strings lately. Before you start talking trash about country music, I just have to defend myself by saying that Texas is infectious! I just can't escape it. It's like Bieber Fever or methamphetamines without the skinny jeans or rehab.

I have to post the lyrics too because I know my grandma and Aunt Jano frequent my blog and I'm not sure if they'll be able to see the video, so here are the lyrics:

Hard to Love by Lee Brice
Songwriters: Benjamin Glover, Billy Montana, John Ozier

I am insensitive I have a tendency to pay more attention to the things that
I need.
Sometimes I drink too much, sometimes I test your trust, sometimes I dunno
Why you're staying with me?

I'm hard to love, hard to love, I don't make it easy, I couldn't do it if I
Stood where you stood
I'm hard to love, hard to love, you say that you need me, I don't deserve
It but I love that you love me. Good

I am a short fuse, I am a wrecking ball crashing into your heart like I do
You're like a Sunday morning full of grace and full of Jesus I wish that I
Could be more like you.
I'm hard to love, hard to love, I don't make it easy, I couldn't do it if I
Stood where you stood,
I'm hard to love, hard to love, you say that you need me, I don't deserve
It but I love that you love me. Good.
Love me good.

Girl you've given me a million second chances and I don't ever wanna take
You for granted, I'm just a man, I'm just a man.

Hard to love, hard to love, oh I don't make it easy and I couldn't do it if
I stood where you stood.
I'm hard to love, hard to love and you say that you need me, I don't
Deserve it but I love that you love me. Good.

You love me good.

I don't know what anyone else is talking about or thinking, but I'm a bitch. Plain and simple. I didn't settle for anyone. My husband is the man of my dreams and I don't deserve him. Even if you considered every good thing I've ever done in my lifetime and ignored the horrible, selfish and inexplicable things, the math just doesn't add up. I am difficult, emotional and overly passionate about irrelevant subjects. I fly off the handle without reason. I drink too much. I have a multi-colored past and am disgustingly indulgent. I am an obsessive addict. Even though I came from a middle class American family, I'm a spoiled brat. Maybe that's because I came from a middle class American family? I have a short temper and am beyond demanding. I'm an uptight, impatient, over-analytical hypocrite. And somehow, regardless of all of that, Mr. Cruz loves me. He adores me. He is proud of me and thoroughly enjoys me as a person.

My husband didn't "luck out" to meet me. I am a better person because he has come into my life. For some reason, God put him in my path. This has nothing to do with green cards or money or citizenship. The price of me is much too high for abusers because I am 3 gallons of crazy in a 2 gallon bucket my friends. I'm the lucky one. I'm the one who is hard to love...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sana, Sana, Colita de Rana…

After 7 some years together, I’ve learned to never question my husband when it comes to healing methods, medicine or the likes. Nor should I question his friends or friends of friends or mother or cousin or his uncle’s neighbor’s plumber’s priest’s father. They know what’s up, and I, my friends, am just a silly American who has no faith.

My first brush with Mexican medicine came several years ago, when a family member called us in the US to inform us that my husband had a severe lung condition and was on the brink of death. Of course it was true, a psychic told them so. In order to be cured, he spent countless hours on the phone writing down a prayer (or chant or whatever you call it) as it was dictated to him word for word. (If you’ve ever heard my husband trying to give a wire transfer confirmation number over the phone, you’d understand that this was a tedious process.) He then sent me on a hunt for mason jars that had to be a specific size and a certain type of cotton swab. I protested, of course, but eventually gave in and hit up about 5 different Goodwill stores in the Phoenix area before I found what he was looking for.

He carefully labeled one of the jars “Sobar” and the other “Tomar.” They were each filled with purified water which was blessed over the phone by the psychic or witch-doctor or whoever. I then had to soak the special cotton things in the Sobar water and rub it all over my husband’s back (remember, we’re curing lung disease here people,) while he drank from the Tomar jar and chanted his little diddy. He was, of course, miraculously cured and the family rejoiced. I think you all know I’m not much of introvert and I wear my heart, and common sense, on my sleeve. I voiced my opinions from the get go and was told stories about cancer being cured and crippled people walking again. I was forced to listen to countless horror stories of what can happen when you don’t believe.

I’ve since learned to bite my tongue.

So when we went on our little treasure hunt for that alcohol de caña, I didn’t say a word in protest. I know he’s tried my whole Western medicine route for the last couple of months and is still in pain, so what can I really say? He’s getting desperate. When a friend at the maquila told him about this magic potion, he just couldn’t resist. This man was apparently bed-ridden for God knows how long before he had a couple of drops of this stuff and POOF, good as new! Again, it’s alcohol de caña, red onion, lime and garlic that is left to ferment for 15 days. The fermentation process is coming to a close and I’m really trying to keep my thoughts to myself but would you just look at this shit:

My poor husband is going to drink that. And he thinks it’s going to help him. In fact, he believes it so much that I think it just might work. You see, although I don’t think putting a feverish baby in a bath full of lettuce does diddly squat, I do believe in the power of positive thinking and the power that one’s faith can give them. There are countless little health tricks (que?) of Mexico that make absolutely no sense to me but I’m no medicine man. Putting Vick’s Vapor Rub between your toes when you have the flu? Wearing sandals in the shower to prevent getting sick? Rubbing an egg on your belly when you have a stomach ache and then cracking it and if the yolk’s black the sickness is gone? Seriously, has anyone ever seen this result in a black yolk?

At the end of the day, all I can do is smile, hope we don’t end up getting his stomach pumped in IMSS Urgencias, and thank God that my husband believes that tequila and lime cures the common cold. Salud.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Saturday In Pictures

Woke up early and baked a German Chocolate cake!

Did my nails orange for the season...

Decided to head downtown to get supplies for my husband's health brujeria. Had to snap a pic of this on the way... What do you think it's going to be? It's taken them 2 years to get to this point...

I was super excited that my nails matched the buttons on my shirt!

Almost there...

I love going downtown but it's not really safe to take
pictures there so I usually take them from the car.

We had to search through a lot of this to find what we were looking for.

Annnnnd we finally found it here.

The newest cure for my husband's feet?
Fermenting a liter of cane alcohol with lime,
onion and garlic for 15 days and then drinking it...

You will never catch me drinking anything out of an old salsa bottle.

Time for street food! I thought I'd get some of those papas locas I always see.
Con todo? Sure!
BAD IDEA. Inedible.

That's better... Ish...

Time for Soriana. Our purchase was FREE after using some of our points!

This guy washed our car while we shopped. 50 pesos.

Calzones for dinner!

And then an 80's movie marathon.
I don't know how those cans got there.

Lucy hates Tom Hanks.

At the end of the day, some of us were more worn out than others...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Dad and My Inspiration

My parents were separated before I was two years old. I remember weekend visits with my Dad. Those didn't last for too long but the little moments are burned into my memories. We moved from Kansas City to Illinois just before I turned 8 years old. I think when I was younger I was bothered by the fact that my dad wasn't there every day. Now that I do not live with my own child (for completely different circumstances) I am able to understand why I didn't see my Dad everyday. Everything about my life and what's happened with my own son has brought me to the point of acceptance and being able to understand my parents and their struggle. Our family may not be traditional, but in my opinion, it does not stray from the norm of any other American family in this day and age. 

I have 5 sisters. We are spread out all over the globe. Two of my sisters live in Kansas City, Missouri, one in Bettendorf, Iowa and my two step sisters live in El Salvador. Our family unit is normal to me. We may not be a typical nuclear family but I think that is typical of our time. I am thankful for all of the advancement with the internet because I am able to stay in touch with everyone, mainly through Facebook and Skype. Above all, I am thankful that my mother made a point to teach me the importance of family. She has always supported my desire to stay connected with everyone and has nothing but good things to say about each and every member of our wacky little Harmon/Bonderer/Cruz unit.

Years ago, when I met my husband, he taught me things that made me love my father even more. He preached the value of "honoring thy mother and father," regardless of the circumstances. Today, my Dad is a huge part of my life. I always know that he is a Skype call away and because of that, he has been able to teach me so much about life. He is the first person I go to for advice, and I value his opinion more than any other. He is a man that so many aspire to be, including myself. He has embraced life and love and generosity for all that it is worth. I don't dwell on the past with him. It has no place in our relationship. Because I have gone through the things I have, I am finally able to understand him and his decisions, and appreciate him. I am so insanely proud of Michael Bonderer and who he is today. 

I want to share his story because he is an inspiration to me. If I end up being a tenth of the person he is today, I will die a happy woman. Although we are worlds apart, we come from similar backgrounds. We have made monumental mistakes in our lives but are both trying our best to move on from our pasts and do something with ourselves and the lives we lead today. I cannot appropriately put my thoughts into words. What does my Dad mean to me? There really are no words. I am so thankful that he is my father and I am so thankful that he is a part of my life. I'm even thankful that I have gone through such hard times so that I am able to come to a point where I can appreciate him and everything he does.

I can only hope to make such an impact in my lifetime but I don’t think I could ever touch a person's life in the way that he has been able to. I wanted to share all of this because I am so proud and because I would like to give some attention to his organization and shed some light on his cause. I hope to involve myself in charities in Mexico in the same way that my father has in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Haiti. I feel like there is a reason I ended up leaving the US and that God has a purpose for me in this world.

This video touches on my father's life and work and explains why he is such an inspiration to me. If anyone has any questions or would like to volunteer, please visit

"What we need... People who are ready and willing to serve: who will just show up."