I am currently in Durango, Mexico, along with my wife and two daughters in order to fulfill the last wish of my recently departed mother - Martha Munoz.
The year was 1980, the United States boycotted the Olympics held in Moscow due to the invasion of Afghanistan, and I was a 12- year old kid on vacation with my mother in her homestate of Durango, Mexico - an enormous contrast to my hometown of Chicago, Illinios.
My mother grew-up in the Mexican Rockies of the western side of the state of Durango - God's country. She lived in small towns such as: Rio Chico, Llano Grande and El Salto, close to the Sinaloa State border. Eventually, she relocated her entire family to the capital city of Durango, both the capital and state have the same name, and then she proceeded to immigrate to the United States in her early 20's.
Hence the connection to Chicago.
Like most first generation immigrant children, we traveled every summer to Mexico. It was important for my mother that I not lose my heritage and never forget where our family had come from.
I value that now that I myself am a parent.
In that summer of 1980, we took a train ride through the Sierra Madre, where my mother had lived as a child, when the train suddenly stopped on a high elevated bridge. My mother looked down the river and after getting excited, she told me we were in Rio Chico, a town with a river where she had lived beautiful memories as a child.
This struck me because most of her memories about her childhood were sad due to poverty and physical abuse by her father. But she proceeded to tell me that the few years she lived in Rio Chico were full of beautiful memories because of the river and its surroundings.
It was then that at age 12, I was given my mother's last will, "Son, when I pass away, I want you to bring my ashes to this place, down there."
Twenty-nine years later, my mother passed away from complications derived from a severe stroke caused by a brain hemorrage, she passed away on May 5, 2009, at 12:30 a.m. in Del Rio, Texas. Her English-language obituary was posted on this link:
After her passing away, her remains where cremated in San Antonio, Texas. Her remains are within the urn in picture below.After finalizing her estate after eight weeks, yesterday, my family and I arrived in the city of Durango in order to complete her journey.
In a few minutes, we will be guided by one of my mother's brother, Mr. Guadalupe Sanchez, who will take us deep into the Sierra Madre to arrive at the exact location where my mother asked her remains to be taken. The train is no longer in operation, therefore, our trip will mostly be in our DODGE RAM, however, the remaining portion will be on foot and will take a day and half to complete.
Needless to say, this has been up to this moment an emotional journey. The journey of a son fulfilling the last wish of a mother. I feel honored in completing my mother's wish given to me in 1980, when I was a 12-year old child.
Today, I will arrive at the same exact location but as a family man, with my wife and two children. I will leave a precedent for my children so that when my Heavenly Father calls me to his arms, my children my fulfill my last living wish.
As soon as we are able to post the details of the final journey of Marth Munoz, we will do so.