Music, and primarily Latino music, had its place in our family in virtually every facet of our lives. We'd watched our parents dance to the songs on the radio. The eldest sibling of seven would use music to get the rest of us to go to sleep. We're singing to our Lord in church. And later, when we grow older, we would sing and dance at various events. Music, in our family had been an invaluable piece of our foundation.
Music has been a part of our lives our entire lives. From Mama's lullabies to family gatherings where at some point, the guitars would be brought out and the yard would be filled with song. Even though those memories were decades old, music had a way to take you places … back to those special moments they're inspired.
One of my favorite moments with music came when I was just a young girl in church. I'd be sitting next to my Grandmother and her ladies Sodality group. In our church, a hymn called "Bendito" would play to signify the celebration of the Virgin Mary which we'd done on the first and second Sunday of the month.
At the beginning of the service (mass), the Sodality group would process down the center aisle holding a beautiful tapestry of Our Lady. They'd walked up together, two by two, and singing a Marion song dedicated to the Virgin Mary. As the song started, I'd wait in great anticipation to see if Grandmother would take me with her.
Sometimes, she had taken my hand and led me with the other ladies down the aisle. I'd felt so special and honored to walk with the priest and Sodality group. All I could see had been faces of the near members of the conggregation standing and watching as we'd passed their pews.
I'd associated that special moment and its energy and grace … reliving it each time I'd hear the song, Bendito.
The first line of the song went: "Bendito, Bendito Bendito sea Dios" and translated to: "Blessed, Blessed Blessed is God." The hymn goes on to talk about how very present God is in the holy sacrament in this very moment.
It had been a song that was beloved by my Grandmother even outside of church. She'd always ask me to sing it to her through the years. And it had been the song I'd dedicated to her and sung at her funeral. This musical memory had been just one example of how music had been like a footprint imbedded deep in the soul of our family.