In the article from the Albuquerque Journal Magazine, dated December 22, 1987, it reads:
For Maria, the tortilla will forever be a miracle — not a coincidence. The face of Christ has become a taproot sign, Maria said, in a root system of signs. Two years after she saw the tortilla, Maria became pregnant. It was a difficult pregnancy; she was sick a lot and suffered high blood pressure. Everyone worried. But then Angelica was born, a healthy girl. A sign.
Oh my God, the pressure. I am a miracle. My mother believes that I am a miracle.
I barely have enough faith in the chair that is currently holding me up as I write this and my mom has so much faith to believe that her youngest hija is a miracle? Most parents believe this about their children, right? It’s not just my mom?
Ok…joking aside, there was a lot going on in my mom’s life throughout 1978 and 1979. Right before my birth in May, 1979, mom’s anxiety was just gearing up for a decade long invasion. Her health problems were so severe that her doctor highly recommended that she not move forward with this pregnancy. Her life was in jeopardy and there was no telling how healthy the child would be at birth or even if it would survive.
As my mom says, “ay que dar se lo a Dios.”
My mom once told me the story of going into labor and while at the hospital, her anxiety peaked as the nurse pushed her through the hospital in the wheelchair. Mom was so scared that as she was zoomed down the hallway, approaching an entry way, mom slammed her leg on the side of the entrance in an attempt to get the wheelchair to stop. The nurse had been going so fast that my mom was having a teh-leh-leh (also known in the Rubio household as an anxiety attack) According to my mom, my sister Rosy, may or may not have shared a few words with this nurse. Needless to say, my mom was sick, she was pregnant and she was about to give birth to a miracle.
Fast forward to 2014, thirty-five years after giving birth, my mom still calls me her miracle. Not to take anything away from my older siblings, (because I’m sure they’re miracles too) but I think they might agree with her. It’s not necessarily who I am or what I’ve become that makes me that miracle, but my birth was one of a few signs that my mom needed in order to sustain her already dwindling faith in God.
Confession time — I struggle with my own faith and have done so for most of my life. Even as a little kid, growing up across the street from Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Lake Arthur, I questioned everything. I remember even telling my Catechism teacher one Wednesday night, that when I envisioned God, I didn’t see her as a loving and merciful God, I pictured Darth Vader and the heavy breathing. But then there were the Sunday’s when I was dragged out of bed that I would stand and look up to my mom, who always sat on the third pew on the left of that very small church, hoping that one day I have even a speck of faith that she does.
The truth is, I do not know what I believe, nor do I pretend to have the answers. I may never have the answers. In fact, I sometimes don’t pray because I know that my mom prays enough for the both of us. I don’t think this makes me a bad person, but it just makes it my journey.
It is hard to live up to my mom’s everlasting faith in God, especially when her faith in the power of prayer gets harder and harder to question. Perhaps the Jesus tortilla happened to her 37 years ago so that 35 years into her youngest daughter’s life, it would start to mean something more than just a “sign through a bit of baked flour once headed for someone’s stomach.” (Toby Smith, ABQ Journal Magazine, 1989)
Oh, the irony.