Today, I'm going to show off to my friends.
They are not just any friends, no. They are tough and at the same time extremely delicate. My friends are tough and at the same time they are extremely delicate, they are strong, they are sensitive, they are brave, and they are also loud.
The character of my friends has been forged in adversity but without leaving aside their humility. Meeting them has been one of the best things that has happened in my life, they made me discover and recognize myself. That is why I love them. Alone they are unique, but collectively they are invincible, unstoppable.
On every occasion I always try to learn something from them, and on our last walk together, something painful happened that made me admire one of them more.
It was Saturday and we set out to have a nice time on one of New Jersey's beaches, in a natural place, with wildlife, no tolls, no lifeguards... and no ICE.
Some of us were painting the surrounding landscape with watercolors, and others were enjoying the sea water, not so cold and with good waves. Suddenly, my friend's daughter, a 6 year old girl, ran out of the water crying while her mother was chasing her. "What happened! we exclaimed.
My friend told us with fear: "We were in the water when my daughter felt something on her arm, and when I lifted it I looked with horror at a string of transparent jelly, 'it was the tentacle of a jellyfish'. Even though I was afraid, I grabbed her arm to remove it, and when the tentacle came free it got tangled in my hand, and with the other I shook it off. Finally he released me and we ran out of there".
The girl had a red spot on her arm that burned badly. Her tears did not let her see her wound well, and her crying was inconsolable. She was in a lot of pain. Her mother cleaned the wound with bottled water and put some ice on a towel; she sat down on a beach chair, placed the little girl between her legs to hug her better, and laid her head on her lap, said sweet and comforting words to her. She stroked her long black hair and tried to wipe away her tears. My friend was very distressed, and unfortunately we didn't have any medicine to ease the pain. We were too far away to look for anything.
Time went by and the girl was still crying, so my friend looked at her fixedly and spoke to her strongly, forcefully, but with much love "Now, try to calm down, everything will be fine, be brave, because if we women are not strong this world will fall! Wow, what a powerful expression! How right her words were!
At that moment I remembered my grandmother and my mother. How many times have we done something really brave and no one noticed? How many times did my grandmother get food for her 10 children without a fifth? How many times did my mother, despite working all day, make time for housework and to take care of us? How many people and situations have been "saved" thanks to those heroic and invisible acts?
That moment made me think of those epic acts that women do every day, which go unnoticed but have a great impact. My grandmother and my mother sacrificed their youth and strength to raise their children, few realized it, and almost no one recognized them. For those acts there is no Nobel Prize, no Oscar, no Pulitzer Prize, only the satisfaction of having done them.
When the girl calmed down and just sat there in the beach chair under the shelter of the umbrellas, my friend was finally able to rest in another chair, with both arms stretched out on the armrests so that her hands could hang down. And I noticed that, her hands were red and one of them was somewhat swollen. I asked and she said, "Yes, the jellyfish hurt me too, my hands are burning, I feel a lot of pain, but I can't complain because I don't want to scare my daughter". Surely my friend was worse hurt and scared than the little girl, she felt like crying, but it didn't matter, she had to hold on and take care of the little one, because mothers never come first.
My friend also deserved to be consoled, to be caressed, to receive tender and kind words. And I just thought, right, if we women were not brave there would be no one to support others, the son, the husband, the friend, a whole family, even a whole nation, I thought of the mothers and wives of world leaders.
Surely, without a woman in this world, there would be no comforting touch, there would be no kindness. There would simply be no humanity.
These are my friends.
Rosalba Esquivel Cote
Rosalba is a woman, Mexican, microbiologist, teacher, apprentice, and artivist. "Let your cries be read!"