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  • Elizabeth Galvan Ortiz

Follow or Create?

As I look for things to type up for my very first blog, I start to think. After God, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Not barely a split second has past and I got my answer. FAMILY!

Families come in so many shapes and sizes. Families often identify who we are. They tell a story of the past and sometimes one of the future. When I think of my family, I find myself searching for words... complex, hard and upfront would be a few words. You see, in my family hugs and kisses are scarce but one thing we always have is each other's back. And having "each other's back" has been good enough around these ports because this means we can always count on that shoulder, that advice, that tap to say, "I am right here to catch you." Growing up, I found myself comparing what the world taught me as the "perfect" family and what mine was actually like and came to realize that as unconventional as they are, they are just fine.

There was a time where my world sort of fell apart yet pulled itself together. That time in 1997, in that cold room, somewhere between reality and dream, when the one I called my anchor, left this world. She fought a tough fight but the fight called AIDS seemingly won. My mother was only 33 years old. Fast forward for as long as it takes the US military to consider you at your prime for battle, 18 years to be exact, and you will find me as the elder, first-born, 2nd mother, more than my brother's keeper. And that's not a bad thing... My siblings have all grown up even with their bumps and bruises, some carrying more burden than others but all moving forward to help their families. Remember that "having each other's back" thing? Well, that's what keeps us going. Hugs, kisses and encouragement have become more common place too. And for that I am forever grateful to God. HE truly has my back indeed!

Emma's legacy lives on through her five children and her nine grandchildren. Many people find themselves bitter after a loss of a dear loved one, however, through it all I see compassion, I see strength, I see love.... I see life! A trail left by so many photographs. Each telling a story, each leaving a small clue behind that as tempting as it may seem at times just to step unto the trail already left and follow, that is NOT our calling. We have been created to create! The world is waiting....

What will you create?


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