When I submitted the manuscript for “Walking My Mother Home,” I knew that the story between me, Rosa and Pedro, my Spanish family, was far from over. The healing I received when my mother passed away created a beautiful bond between Rosa and I that will last the rest of my life. What is so unique about this relationship is that Rosa and I don’t speak the same language, we live 5,300 miles apart, and we have never met. But that is about to change.
Next week, almost three years to the day we welcomed Pedro into our home that first summer, I will step on Spanish soil and meet Rosa, my kindred spirit and sister in Christ. It will be the beginning of the trip of a lifetime for me—six weeks in Spain.
Over the past two years, since Pedro was last in our home, Rosa and I have continued to communicate via email and online translators. We have both looked forward to the day when we’ll meet in person. Rosa has been learning English to facilitate our communications. I have been writing and blogging more about this story and our relationship across the miles.
One of the key pieces of the story that materialized shortly after my mother died was the role that Pedro’s music played in our relationship. As I mentioned in “Walking My Mother Home,” Pedro played the piano while he was in our home. I also mentioned that my oldest son was a gifted pianist. This is significant because Pedro was placed in our home precisely because his musical interest matched with my two sons’ musical abilities. It was a match made in heaven.
Pedro played the piano every day he was in our home. My son played Beethoven, Chopin and other classical composers’ music. Pedro was interested in cinema and played American movie soundtracks to films like “The Sound of Music” and “The Sting.” I didn’t know it at the time, but interspersed with his music, he played a few of his own compositions.
A few months after Pedro returned to Spain, he sent our family a song he composed and dedicated to us: “Seattle”. This song, and others he started to send me, were salve to my aching heart as I grieved over the death of my mother. His music has become a staple of my life as he writes songs that mark the special occasions in our lives—my own personal soundtrack so to speak.
One thing led to another and I soon found myself partnering with this musical protégé. Our joint love for music soon developed into my becoming Pedro’s music manager, the creation of a professional CD of his music, and worldwide exposure on iTunes and other online music sites. That exposure paid off a few months ago when Pedro’s music was noticed by a Spanish film production company. The trailer to Pedro’s debut movie score was released earlier this month. None of this movie business was even a possibility when I booked my flights to Spain, but now in God’s perfect timing, I will be in Spain for the release of his short film, “Thirst for Love”, in July.
The focus of my trip from the start was meeting Rosa and being able to connect with her one-on-one about our mutual experience of losing our mothers—from different parts of the world. I know God will honor and bless us as we take this next step of healing and support in our relationship. We will fumble through our language barrier at first, but I trust our non-verbal communication and love will override those obstacles.
Pedro spent two summers in my home immersed in American culture and language as part of a short term exchange program. In the summer of 2013, it will be my turn to be the exchange student. And I’m going to meet Rosa…. Truly a match made in heaven.
~ Ardis A. Nelson