Now Juan Gabriel has died and I am sobbing with every song. His love songs are part of the sounds of my childhood. My dad used to listen to “Siempre en Mi mente,” surely remembering an old flame. My mom used to listen to all his Acapulsco songs, her hometown where she spent her days of youth.
My sister and I would clean the house to all his love ballads. As a young adult, I would sing his songs in the car in college and in all the cities I moved to for work when I was homesick.
Now, as a mother and wife in DC, I have left my Mexican-American soundtrack fade on many days because you get caught up in the present, which I am lucky is a beautiful life. But Juan Gabriel is not often on the radio, and I have to look for him on Spotify when I need to reconnect. I was excited to go to his concert with my husband this October in NYC to celebrate our anniversary. I was sure my husband would fall asleep at some point because he doesn’t know his music, but I wanted to share my Juan Gabriel with him, as he shared his Prince with me.
Now, as I listen to all the songs playing in tribute, I am reminded of my happy and sad childhood days, my young parents in love, my sister who is far way, and a little Mexican-American girl who grew up Mexican. The Mexican part is deep inside me, at my core, and Juan Gabriel has reminded me of her.
Gracias Juan Gabriel, por existir, por tus palabras, valor, tu amor …. Descansa en paz, o baila toda la noche.