It’s Just Our Way

Being Hispanic with ALS, so what does that mean? Dejame te digo! (Let me tell you)…

First off when I was diagnosed, I’ve shared this before, my mom asked “who the hell gave me the evil eye”. Thats when she activated the “Comadre” Network, asking for the best curandero (witch doctor) around. So ther was a whole lot of genuflecting and a bunch of Hail Mary’s going around and rosaries flung about like nun-chuck’s. All in an effort to cast out the evil overtaking my body.

Next came the cast down looks by relatives as they shuffled their feet saying things like, sorry wey that’s some bad sh#*, thats too bad bro, I had an uncle/cousin/aunt/friend that had the ALS… so what is it? Also statements like, don’t you worry Mijo sigule con madre no se me awite! Aunts beating their chest as they proclaim to God, xa Juanito no!”

It’s just our way…

Next comes the shots at social gatherings, being egged on to do one more, no se me raje, hechale con ganas, no chinges otra mas! And thats just with my aunts… I can’t repeat what my uncles say. Then after a handful of shots the crying starts, I love you mijo, no I really do! Thats typically when the mood turns somber for a bit, before everyone starts picking on you relentlessly…

It’s just our way…

One of the most painful losses however is a social aspect particular to Hispanic culture. It happens when an ALS patient can no longer use their arms. It pains me to share this tragic eventuality… no longer being able to play LOTERIA (Mexican bingo)! This institution of Hispanic social gathering activities is the one thing that can bring unity and division to a baby shower, birthday, christening, Easter etc… Eventually someone will be accused of cheating, fixing cards, not anteing up, all for a hand full of loose change. Feuds have been started over Loteria, I kid you not, lol.

In the end, family you haven’t seen in years show up to offer their love and support, cousins, aunts, uncles and so on.

It’s just our way…

TJ&O

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