Dia de los Muertos remembers dead loved ones but most gente prefer to be the observer than the observee. Today, meet Mariela Rubio, a woman who seemed a candidate for an untimely altar herself and whose story of illness and recovery celebrates the fact she and her mother can set up altars together and remember when Mariela lay virtually dead.
When she was 22, Mariela Rubio fell ill in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. Negligent medical care sent the young woman's life into a tailspin, starting with a six-month coma. Doctors confirmed their diagnosis: the patient doesn't talk, doesn't move, cannot feed herself and is probably blind. Her mother prayed that her child be restored while friends thought it would be best for the child to die and end her suffering.
But Mariela was not suffering--she was only asleep! In fact, as she lay in the hospital, Rubio was conscious of her surroundings but helpless to do anything. She could not complain, breathing was a struggle, but she knew what was going around her. She had moments when she'd waken and try to communicate, but she was as helpless as a baby. This baby, however, was aware, and slowly her mind took over and she focused her thoughts on a single objective: to live a full life.
Now a 30 year old psychologist, Rubio has written her story in Un lapso de silencio. She recounts her months of awareness trapped in physical helplessness, responds to the hopelessness that surrounded her with pity--pity was the last thing she needed--and recounts her determination as she worked to rise from a wheelchair, learn to use her body again, and finally be able to walk on her own two legs.
Mariela Rubio is looking for a publisher of this inspiring story of a mother's love and a patient's determination to win back her life. Rubio will be reading from her work October 21, 6:00 p.m. at the Galeria de la Ciudad, Centro Cultural Riviera, in Ensenada, BC Mexico. For the author's statement of the above (in Spanish), visit Mariela's story in the newsletter from CICESE -- Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada.
TIME TICKS TOWARD TEN TWENTYFOUR . . . . CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
The first, maybe annual, La Bloga Día de los Muertos Amoxcalli-Descansos Contest. Here's your chance to get exposure for your great piece relating to el Día de los Muertos. Through Oct. 24th we will accept prose, poetry, essay, in English or Spanish or Spanglish--just about anything concerning this indigenous/modern tradition. Fantasy, children's stories, young adult, horror, serious, or not so--anything you want to share on La Bloga. Shorter pieces are preferred (less than 500 words), since we are the editorial staff and will base decisions on quality and how little work is required of us. We will feature one prize winner each day of the week of Day of the Dead. Email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guest Blogueras Blogueros Welcome
Don't forget, if you have an essay or review of a favorite novel, poetry collection, or related thoughts, send them to La Bloga. We welcome guest columnists and writing of note. Look for news about our Weekend Writers' La Bloga feature, soon!
There's Tuesday, October 17, 2006, a day like any other day, except you are here. Thanks for visiting La Bloga.