Literally translated, mi tesoro is Spanish for my treasure, usually an endearment for partners, spouses, or children, with a very adequate translation in German, mein Schatz, or in Tagalog, mahal ko. This endearment is deeply rooted in me, and I had hoped to refer to my daughter as mi tesoro one day, but that was before I opted for the OPOL method of raising bilingual children.
I first met Bonny in sixth grade in Mexico City, on our very first day of Middle School in Mrs. Gadsden´s CORE class (English and Social Studies). She looked just as lost and confused as I was, and it really did not take long for us to become friends, and continued to do so for the next 39 years, referring to each other as hermanas (sisters). We were born the same year but her birthday is in May, which technically makes her the older one, so she has always called me hermanita (little sister), and in the absence of blood siblings, this is a bond that I treasure with all my heart. We grew up, moved away from our Middle School (and I from Mexico) and got caught up in our own lives, but always carrying the promise to be present at each others wedding, come hell or high water.
Children grow up and grow apart, and so many childhood promises become obsolete, relegated to the box of forgotten or broken dreams. Not with Bonny. She came to my wedding in 1993 and kept me sane throughout the whole process, doing what any sister would have done, and we used the precious time together to catch up on our lives (11 years). In 2009 I returned the favour and flew from Manila to Mexico City, taking the long way around via China and Germany simply because I could not be bothered to file for a US visa just to transit, so I dropped in on my father-in-law and spent some precious days with him as well.
The older we get, the less Bonny and I communicate. When all hell broke loose for me in 2016 she was there for me via whatever media permitted us to communicate but somehow, in all the hustle and bustle of moving, almost two years have gone by since my parents died and there was silence on the airwaves between us.
Until last week.
I found a belated birthday message from her on a social media platform and it stopped me dead in my tracks. Long story short, we have reconnected via WhatsApp and are still catching up.
Youth has been taken from us, but never the bond. One of the blessings of moving back to Berlin is reconnecting with a select few,+ very special friends who have always been there for me, in spite of the long gaps. These special tesoros may not all be based in Berlin, but that does not matter. No small talk, no bullshitting. Just jump right back in and pick up where we left off, sharing the burdens of the heart and the travesties of the soul.
People waste so much time searching for monetary treasure in life, without realising what they already have in front of them, or perhaps squirreled away for a another day. But you know what? At 50 or 60 or 70, we have no more time to waste and procrastinate. Enjoy the treasures now, today, and make memories rather than accumulate regrets.
Eres mi tesoro hermanita.