My sister-in-law works in the public health system in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. She pulls babies from mothers, and puts them into their hands.
A woman of purpose, knew from the beginning, you were meant for this. Meant for this. A question of destiny? I don’t know if you believe in that, or if I do, either. Her hands are steady. Work ethic solid.
She stands guard round the clock.
Sleepless nights. Sleepless days. Pushing when she has to and pushing when she doesn’t.
There is a spirit of goodness
Speaks compassion. Heart. Love.
Tough decision maker.
Hermana. Hard worker. Good ethics.
She has good morals. Sacrifice a lot, for others.
Very professional, uses her skills to help others. Always.
I’m not with her, so I don’t know exactly how she’s doing.
But, she’s funny and always laughs at jokes.
Generous, I can say it so many times.
Always ready to try new things.
A surgeon, hands expertly saving lives.
Woman on the front lines.
In the off-hours she works on behalf of her family to bring containment, care, fierce loyalty, and fight.
These aren’t perfect days off, just like work isn’t perfect and every babe and mother saved.
That’s not the point.
A capacity for love, resilience, and for generosity of spirit. That’s her.
She would give you the shirt off her back, and then send you stern warnings.
She’ll tell you the truth straight up and hold back when she is able. She buys dinner, cooks Italian. Eats spice.
My sister-in-law is a hero.
She won’t know I wrote this. Won’t know I admire her. She is not looking for accalades. I cannot remember a time when she was. In the time of COVID-19, she’ll be on the frontlines with pregnant mothers, in a hospital,
Inspired by you.
“Too blessed to be stressed” rests on the bench of my favorite local market, which is technically a grocery store. I don’t care what we decide to call it.
Those people are family.
Day after day smile, before the pandemic that’s ripped our lives apart.
The ladies at the coffee shop have glass to separate them from caffeine orderers these days, but it can’t shut out their smiles.
We go sparingly now.
Of the people I miss, I miss them.
Over three years of early mornings the “how are you’s, the I’m stressed, the know my life and I’ll know yours conversations” are beautiful connections.
Now, in the midst of crazy, smiles still appear.
No doubt there are worries. Concerns.
Questions in my mind of how to honor you well.
The injustice that some of our critical workers are paid less, less – than stay-at-home-shelter-in-place-full-income-earners brings me to anger. Grief. It’s madness.
So, I was there before. I am here, now.
I’m not saying they are the heart of this community, but they keep life and this community alive by their work and actions.
Always ready to help.
Pick up your spirits. Raise your spirits.
Good audience for bad jokes.
They are people who know us.
CRITICAL CARE/NICU NURSE
My dear friend is a critical care and NICU nurse working in a crowded system in Georgia. Her days are spent tending to early births, and their precious souls. She cares for parents, internalizes pain, and metabolizes the difficulties so others can manage better. There. Present. Active. Working. Not lazy, but engaged. I call her friend.
She advocates, watches, advocates, and watches more.
There isn’t a stop button.
Because she fears?
Because she doesn’t practice self-care? Does self-care mean you stop caring?
Protecting me and you.
They are savers – maybe more than doctors.
What else do you need me to say?
Kind. Even loving – to strangers who they don’t know. I dare to say loving, because they do love their job even though it’s tough.
Many of them, my friend, they treat us like family, even though we aren’t family.
Professional, caring, cannot write it too much or too often.
Message to YOU
This family of six, this woman, this man, these kids in our family we send this message to you. Our prayers are with you, hope you get relief soon and the care you need. We are behind you. We support you. I can give you a meal, send you some take out. I’ll be here, we will be here.
The Castillejos Six
Mother of four and wife of one awesome Mexican, Danielle Castillejo is a 2nd year student at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, studying to get her MA in Counseling and Psychology. She works and volunteers part time in an organization in Seattle that advocates for the agency and freedom of commercial sex workers. A survivor of abuse herself she continues to fight for sanity and love every day.