Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Airplanes and Babies: How to Have a Brother

There were too many questions I had for the Great Spirit, when I was young, but all of them seemed to have no answers. (I am wiping off the tears of my eyes as I started remembering this painful part of my life.) Why did I feel so lonely on this Earth? Where is my family? Those were some of my questions.

My mother was eight months pregnant when my father died mysteriously. Then, she left me behind for work when I was only three years old -- under the care of my grandmother and grandfather. My grandmother died when I was six, leaving behind my grandpa, my uncle, and my aunt.

At a young age, I was exposed to one of the worst experiences a human being could go through in life, and that is the loss of one’s loved ones. I felt abandoned by the spirits, and all I wanted was to belong somewhere, be a part of something or someone. Ever since, I promised myself that I was going to find a place and have a family of my own.

I was about 7 years old when my mother gave birth to a boy that died three days later. I remembered climbing up an adobe wall and watched how my brother was carried to his burial at the cemetery. I refused, crying not to go and witness this funeral. My mother lived in the city, and I did not know that she was pregnant, or what pregnancy was for humans. She wore traditional clothes that did not show the contours of her body.

My mother used to tell me that a plane would bring me another brother, so I would scream at the top of my lungs each time I would hear a plane flying by. "Bring me another brother please!” all I wanted was someone I could play with.  As I got older I realized how naive I was for believing such lies, because babies did not came from planes but from a mother's womb.

Feeling abandoned by my mother, I was wishing for a brother and missing my grandmother who died, and my grandfather who was a medicine man on the run-- traveling to other towns and cities to help those In need. I would question myself, what did I do to deserve such punishment and loneliness?  I later learned that this brother who died was not the only sibling I lost- I should have been one of seven, but I was the only survivor.

I was haunted by hearing the whispers of spirits in my ears, by my dreams, and by things I saw in the sky. I desperately wanted to feel and be a normal eight year old, not only because I was being prepared by the spirits to walk my sacred path, but because I was all alone with no home, no parents, no food and living in the streets and the forest.

As I grew older, I realized that wherever I went, there were kind people that treated me better then my own blood and even my own people. The strangers on the buses, on planes, on trains, traveling as Juan Errante. Yes, you and all those people attending my lectures, whom I knew nothing about, began caring and appreciating me as a friend, as brothers, and as a family member. All I had to do was be myself.

What was a burden then, is now a blessing, because I am surrounded by people who love me all over the globe. This post is dedicated to you my true friends, thank you for allowing me to enter your lives each day.

-Juan Errante

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful story! It seems your mother was telling the truth when she said that your brother would arrive on a plane. Through your travels you found the family that you desired. Thank you for sharing this part of your journey.