Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Birthday Month Shuffle - 7th Edition Day 31

"Ay ay, ay ay" basically pronounced "eye eye, eye eye..."
Funny how I still hear it in those quiet moments
where it sneaks up on me unexpectedly.

My mother was having periods of delirium during those last days in the hospital.
Basically, "ay" in Spanish is like "ow" in English.
We would ask her if she was in pain.
We would ask her if she needed something.
We would ask and all she would respond is
"Ay ay ay" over and over.

On that last evening that she was in the hospital ICU,
I sat down next to her and tried to calm her as she seemed to be
getting more anxious and agitated.
It's one of those situations where you don't know what to do
or what to say and her continuous cries of "ay ay"
were starting to drive me a little crazy.

Finally, on another one of those "ay ay ay" spells,
I leaned over and softly sang back, "Ay ay ay ay, canta y no llores"
which literally translates to "sing and don't cry."
She stopped for a moment, and then started to say "ay ay" again,
but this time I joined in to start singing again,
and she started to sing along with me...

It's a song most Mexican kids learn at some point.
I've known this song since forever.
And, now, it's the song that reflects the last time I sang with my mother,
and the song she was buried to.

I had asked a school friend who sings beautifully to sing at her burial ceremony,
and I brought up this song.
She wasn't sure about the timing, and she sang the other two songs
I had chosen so beautifully, that I didn't even think we needed this song.
But then, as the lift with my mother's casket was raising up to the height
of her mausoleum space, my friend's beautiful voice started in with
"Ay ay ay ay"
and she sang the song as the casket was placed within the tomb 
and the workers settled and sealed the marble slab front.
Her timing was perfect.
Sing and don't cry.

The song technically is a love song,
but for me it's now a song of my childhood and my culture
and a final tender moment shared with my mother
during her last moments as I tried to calm her fears.
Maybe she knew then what I wasn't allowing myself to think...
that she would be dead within a few days.

The translation:
Ay ay ay ay
Sing and don't cry
Because by singing you make happy,
lovely Heaven, the hearts

From the sierra, dark
lovely Heaven, are coming down
a pair of dark eyes, lovely Heaven
smuggled in

That birthmark you have, lovely Heaven,
near your mouth
don't give it to anyone else
it belongs to me

Thank you, again, for joining me this month
as I celebrate another birthday month!
I promise to try to write more...


betty said...

I do like this song and I think it was fitting when you last sang it with your mom and when it was sung at your mom's funeral. I'm glad your friend decided to sing it. Congrats you did it!! Now do try to, like yous aid, write more often!


Interior Decorators Saint Paul said...

Thankks for posting this

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