Mayra Azanza: My Mom Is Dying

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 (Mayra Azanza and family)

The loss of freedom of movement means more for some than days cooped up in the house or lost vacations. For Mayra Azanza, it means she may never see her ill mother again.

The clock is ticking for my mother. She’s 81 and has been ill for over a year, confined in a bed. My husband and I decided I would fly to Mexico as often as possible this year to be by her side and relieve my brother and elderly father from the stress of caring for her.

I was there in late January and bought my tickets for mid March to come back and kiss her forehead, cook her favorite meals, and tell her the silly jokes I know will make her smile, watch telenovelas together and sometimes just share a nice silence.

My mother raised me very unconventionally for a Mexican family. She always told me to be strong and independent, to solve my problems and look forward. To travel the world and expand my horizons … even at the price of being away.

She was the one that, with tears rolling down her cheeks, put my suitcase in the trunk of the car of my newlywed husband and wished us a great life in the United States, telling me not to look back, but whispered to my ear that if he didn’t make me happy, I could always come home.


She has always been by my side, giving me all her Mexican remedies when I got sick, like Vaporub and lukewarm apple soda, or telling me the words that I needed to hear, even if they hurt.

Her love is bigger than border walls: If there’s a constant in my life it's that I know, of all the people in this planet she, for sure, loves me.

I cried for hours when I came to the hard decision to cancel my trip in March. It hurts even more to hear her voice going sad, as asks me over and over “Entonces ... ¿cuándo te voy a ver?” It is hard to accept that the best display of my love to her is not to be close to her …  even if it means I may never see her again.

With a Perspective, I’m Mayra Azanza.

Mayra Azanza is an entrepreneur and a sculptor who lives in Palo Alto with her two children and her husband.