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Gila River Review
Ramon Dimas Ocegueda

Mexico Lindo (Mexico the Beautiful)

            Tough, hardworking, stern and stoic--My grandfather was. Stood always so straight with the posture to make a king jealous. He would come home from work late at night whistling mariachi tunes like “De Colores” or “Mexico Lindo.”  Always happy tunes that would remind him of his birthplace and distract him from this new foreign land he inhabits. He would wear a cowboy hat with little orange ropes at the sides that, when tied together under his chin, would make sure the light hat would be immovable. The hat covered his bald head and complemented his wide masculine figure. His hands were covered in calluses created from years of pulling weeds, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, picking strawberries, olives, grapes, peaches, oranges, and nectarines. Though he loved and thanked the United States for giving him so much, he longed for the green hills and damp air of his Mexico.

            We got the call during mid-May. The father of my father, the man who coveted the feel of a Mexican wind suffered a stroke in “The Land of the Free.” In a coma for four inanimate months, half of his face seemed to have crumbled like the glorious pantheon of Rome. Paralyzed with no motion or use left in his legs, and his arms were left as coordinated as those of a new born. He seemed heavy yet light within, like a man inside a cumbersome diving bell.

            Grandfather, throughout four years improved his condition. Yet he would say, "Just take me to Mexico I want to die there, not here.” He was still paralyzed, incarcerated by the limits of his disabled body. He would tell me, he would imagine himself healthy and feeling the salt of the ocean air caress his feet and face as he stood on his own, and not here nor with this condition. I like to think that he is there now--Standing.

Ramón Dimas Ocegueda was born in Colima, Mexico.  He migrated to the U.S. in 1996 along with his family, then graduated from Chandler High School and continues his education at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Now majoring in graphic design, he hopes to share his experiences and culture through his writing and drawing.

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