No Time To Weep

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

Do not cry for those now gone, that lived without ever knowing what it was like to be free. Do not cry for the forgotten, who toiled the fields and hauled the hay, and picked the fruit. For they were the dreamers and the seekers in a time before the birth of decency and virtue. No time to weep for a dream they never had a chance to live.

NO TIME TO WEEP

By Al Garcia

Do not cry for those now gone, that lived without ever knowing what it was like to be free.  Do not cry for the forgotten, who toiled the fields and hauled the hay, and picked the fruit.  For they were the dreamers and the seekers in a time before the birth of decency and virtue.  No time to weep for a dream they never had a chance to live.

Faces with no names and with no hope.  Bodies once young and straight and strong, now stooped and bruised and old.  Withered by time, abuse and use.  These were the dreamers and the seekers who bared the sorrows and the miseries of my past.  No time to weep for the blood and tears they shed, without protesting or objecting. 

Where are the images of their past?  I cannot find a statute of any immigrant or immigrants anywhere I look.  No tributes to the men and women who bore the hardships and pioneered the land and fields of this once barren and desolate Valley by the Rio Grande.  Where can I find the memorials to strong and resolute Mexicans, tilling the soil, lifting a bale or sitting atop a horse on a cattle drive across the Rio Grande? 

There just doesn’t seem to be much interest in the history of the brown, the black, the yellow, the red, or any other shade of skin, other than portraying white history with statutes of white man looking down at all the rest. 

There is so much Mexican/Chicano history along the Rio Grande.  Yet, there is not one major tribute, monument or memorial of any kind that addresses or acknowledges the contributions and sacrifices of our race or ancestry to the development, expansion and growth of this magical Valley along the Rio Grande, other than roadways, highways or long-forgotten bridges to nowhere. 

Where do our children go to learn about, or feel proud about, their heritage and their legacy?  Where do we, the first generation to be able to look back in pride and to look forward with optimism, go to honor our fathers and forefathers, and their fortitude and resilience?  Only one place.  We only have our memories, our stories, our personal recollections and not much more.

Just think about the possibilities.  Instead of watching Mexican immigrants being caged, or seeing images of bodies floating in the Rio Grande, to look at honored statues, monuments or memorials paying tribute to the people who made the Valley what it is today.  To imagine that insurgents and traitors in the Civil War had statutes erected, and military bases named in their honor.  Compare them to the dreamers and the seekers who dreamed of a better place, and sought and strived with their blood, sweat and tears to make the Valley a garden for future generations like us, ignored and erased.  The only monument the rest of the country and the world has seen in our Valley of our immigrant history is our flag, as seen through barbed wire along our border, or from behind wire cages, with children crying, scared and alone.  Scenes from Germany and Europe during the worst of their history.  That should not be a monument to our heritage or our future.  We deserve better.  Our ancestors deserve better.

This is no time to weep for their pain and sacrifice.  Instead, it is a time to remember with pride and gratitude.  It is time to memorialize our heritage for all to see, and all to visit and learn about who was instrumental in making the Rio Grande Valley what it is today -- a multi-cultural, growing and thriving community.

This is no time to weep.  It is a time to reflect.  A time to take down fences and cages.  A time to look forward, not a time to walk back into time, and into the abyss of hate that once flourished along the Rio Grande. 


Submitted: June 17, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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