Nos Recordó Como Vivir
In one of the darkest, saddest days of our lives as our mom lay dying right before our eyes, she imparted her last lesson. With her body straining to fight on and her pain and suffering becoming even more pronounced, she still was able to garner the strength to bathe us in the knowledge and wisdom that she accumulated during her precious lifetime.
It came as a shock to us at first when she asked those of us in the hospital room with her if we knew the lyrics to the Julio Iglesias song, “Me Olvide De Vivir.” Quickly, we contacted someone with access to the internet and the words to the song were relayed to her by a phone call. As the words to the song were repeated, I couldn’t help but ignore the words due to the shock I had received because of the song’s title.
Could it be that our mom had felt that she had in some way not led a full life? The literal translation of the song is- I forgot to live. Could it be that she felt that by sacrificing so much for her family and loved ones she did not truly enjoy life? The title to that song and her request to us to get her the lyrics puzzled me then, but it quickly left my mind completely as the days became longer and more terrifying with her condition getting increasingly worse.
It was not until after her passing, after her funeral services and subsequent burial and after more than a month of having only memories of her to appreciate, that I once again thought of that song. I downloaded both the song and the lyrics and after studying both my mind was once again at peace. It became evident that much like she had done all through her life she was simply showing us the way again.
The song, which it turns out is autobiographical, speaks of someone who placed too much emphasis on fame and the superficial elements of life. He led life at a frenetic pace and didn’t stop to smell the roses. The song’s protagonist loses the love of his life because he is too busy singing love songs and fails to take the relationship as seriously as he should have. His lies and deceit have left him as the loser who is now left crying after having always laughed. And to his utter lament he realizes that he can never go back to where he was before.
After hearing the lyrics, I realized that our mom was actually the antithesis of the protagonist in the song. She had realized at an early age the importance of family and maintained a close, loving relationship with all of us. She used the song as a cautionary tale directing us to not get sidetracked by life’s pomp and circumstance and to concentrate on the things that really matter. And to make the lesson more concrete she made us search for the lyrics ourselves. Even though her memory was still very good during her moments of consciousness, she requested the lyrics because she felt that we would better appreciate the song’s message if we found the lyrics ourselves.
So, we include this beautiful song because it was her last lesson given to us with the same love and feeling of all her previous ones. Hopefully, we’ll honor her memory by taking its meaning to heart.
by Jesus J. Delgado 2008
Me Olvide De Vivir