My mom wasn’t exactly in tip-top shape during the appearance of the Jesus tortilla. To be clear, by the time October 5 arrived, my mom was already experiencing incredible anxiety. So can you imagine what it must have been like for her the first few days of this Jesus appearance? The word about the Jesus tortilla had spread like wildfire, all up and down the Pecos valley and eventually beyond. According to my mom, there was a gentleman from a local newspaper, who interviewed her and stayed on to check out the crowds. The reporter would tell her that he counted about 60 people per hour, visiting the Jesus tortilla, on the day he was at my parents home.
On or about October 6, my mom was paid a visit by a couple of women from the nearby town of Artesia. My mom seems to only remember one of the women, Josephina Ochoa. With them, they carried a holy bible, which they were delivering to my mom and they asked her to flip to a page in the bible to see where it would land. When she flipped the bible opened, it was to John 15, the chapter on Jesus being the “true vine.” When I ask my mom what she thought that meant at the time, she said, “quien sabe?” In other words, who knows? The fact is, those early days were a whirlwind for my mom. An experience, that until this day, still seems to baffle her. And me. And I’m sure my siblings. When I ask her about her interviews with reporters, she doesn’t know or remember what exactly she said. It’s a faded memory. She was just too out of it.
First off, I’m still amazed at the amount of people who visited my mom at our home in the early days of the Jesus tortilla. I mean, normally there are a ton of people at my parent’s house, but that’s just the family. I can’t imagine 60 strangers every single hour. Secondly, there were people, like this woman, Josephina Ochoa, who may have seen my mom as a holy vessel, just because my mom discovered this Jesus tortilla. How can you explain why someone would bring you a bible and have you flip to a chapter to see where it lands? It’s like religious Russian roulette…or something less dramatic. For those of us who are rational and think things through logically, it’s absurd, right? To think of my mom as holy. But there is something special about my mom, holy or not, that people seem to gravitate to. I don’t think I will ever be able to explain it.
Hollywood, as seen above, has gotten rich, time at time again, for exaggerating a story that is so personal to my mom. I guess George Lopez should thank her personally for his success. In any case, I hope that those of you who are reading this blog, understand that behind this funny and quirky story about a woman and her Jesus tortilla, is a real-life story of a woman who is real and a mother who managed to raise a child who would do a crazy thing and write all about it.