My Tia Cacho is one of the strongest people I've ever known. As an Aguirre, we've always done things our own way on our own terms. There's no question about it. You can't tell but in this picture, you'd never know that she is terminally ill.
All the Aguirre woman are strong, assertive woman and during this trip, I learned where we get it from. My Tia didn't get married until she was in her 50s which is something that's admirable to me. I've always wanted a family early so for her to wait, is beyond belief to me. She never had kids but everybody loves her so much. We're all her kids, she says. Let's put it this way, there are non-family members who call her Tia. My cousin Melanie's friend, Alejandro, asked if he could call her Tia and she said, "As long as you're not ashamed to call me Tia". How sweet!
She's battled cancer twice without chemo. Unfortunately, she's battling it one more time presently and it hurt me so much to see her in the condition that she's in. This time she also has a pulmonary edema as well. I didn't know how bad it was until I went to see her. But she's a trooper.
She still talks smack to us girls calling us 'Cabronas' but we just respond, "Look where we got it from!" and she just laughs. She still has an insane sense of humor as well. On a recent doctor's appointment, the doctor told her she was slightly anemic. She gets to my grandma's house and tells her, "Put some beans on the stove. I've got anemia". Forget about having cancer and a pulmonary edema, she's worried because she's anemic!
Bless her soul though because there was one point where my cousin Melanie and I had to go to her house, (after just coming from there) to explain to her how to plug in and operate a small heater. We stayed there for 15 minutes trying to explain to her how to turn it on, where to change the temperature, and how to turn it off.
After seeing her though, I honestly have no idea how long she's going to have left but I'm glad I was able to see her before things got worse. When I showed up at her door when I first got to Indé, she practically started crying since she hadn't seen me in so many years. I'm glad I was able to take a couple of pictures of her and you can't even tell that she's sick.
What makes me so happy is the fact that everybody does love her so much. When she's at home, because she was out in the streets more than I was, the phone is constantly ringing to see if she wants company, to see if she needs anything, to see who's with her, to see what she's been doing. Everybody is constantly checking in on her. She also takes the time to talk to anybody who talks to her on the street.
I hope I can have an impact on people the same way she does.