A funny thing happened on the way to Los Mochis (aka Only in Mexico)

Posted: August 6, 2012 in Mexico
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The story I am about to tell is completely true and has been told to family and friends.  I’ve been encouraged to share it with the world.  So here goes nothing.

Several years ago, after my father’s death, I met my long lost relatives (i.e. aunts and cousins) from Los Mochis, Sinaloa. After the funeral, we exchanged hugs, kisses and contact information. Their very existance, for some reason, had been kept from me.

It was mutual on their side. Our whereabouts were a mystery to them.  Soon afterwards, I called my mother in the middle of the night and begged her to take me to Los Mochis.

She agreed and the three Felix women (my sister Carmen tagged along) were on the road to Los Mochis.  My mother decided to cross at the Arizona/Nogales border. We arrived late at night and had to obtain a permit for the car to go into Mexico.

My mother had crossed many times before at various border crossings. For some reason, the computer showed that she had one car that was still in Mexico.  The law stated she couldn’t be issued a second permit. This was insane.  Of course her car left Mexico! How else could she go home?

After much discussion, a permit was issued under Carmen’s name (she’s legally blind) because she could prove she was my mother’s daughter.  All I had was my married name on a driver’s license. All this bureaucracy took over 5 hours.

The soldiers at the border crossing advised my mother not to stay in Nogales for the night. It was 2 am or 3 am and we were freezing, tired and completely in the dark. There were little to no street lights. So we stayed on the main highway and would stop at the next gas station.

We were approaching a town called Magdalena. We passed by a Victorian-style house (very unusual for Mexico) and stopped at a gas station just 20 to 50 yards from the house.  My mother asked the attendant if there was a place we could stay.

The attendant said we just passed it. He said it was the house with a gate and lamp posts in front of it.  We assumed it was a bed and breakfast.

The gate was open and the driveway was in a horseshoe shape.  My mother parked in front and rang the door bell.  A woman in her nightgown opened the door and said this was a private residence.  My mother apologized profusely.

My mother began to drive forward to exit but then noticed the gate was locked.  So, she tried to back out in a half circle turn. This is when disaster struck.

She knocked over one of the lamp posts by backing into it.  Next, the lady of the house came out and yelled at my mother!  As I heard this, I was sure we would all be arrested or something.

My mother said that she would pay for a replacement of the lamp post.  We gave the lady $120.00 in cash and asked if she needed more.  Then, a miracle happened.

The lady asked who else was in the car.  My mother said it was just her and her two daughters.  The lady offered to take us in for the night!  She had 3 bedrooms with their own bathrooms.

When my mother came to the car and told me this, I was very scared.  Who does this? We woke her up, damaged her property and now she wants to take us in?  My mother convinced me to come in. I was too exhausted to complain.

Mrs. Mejia was an angel. With a welcoming smile and forgiving spirit, she took in the Felix girls.  After sleeping 8 hours and bathing the grime of the road off us, we came down stairs refreshed and rejuvenated.

Mrs. Mejia greeted us with a feast of a breakfast. We were stuffed.  We sat and talked to her about our father, going to Los Mochis and what a wonderful woman she was.  She told us her kids were on vacation in the states.  Apparently, she and her husband were the wealthiest in Magdalena.

She and her housekeeper, Lupe, ate, talked and laughed with us.  It was such a special moment. Lupe told us that our hostess was a fine lady who was always good to everyone.  She and her husband financially and emotionally supported a local old woman (she had no family), til she passed away.

When we asked why the gate was open, she said “In case someone needs help”. Wow!  Mrs. Mejia is a gem of a woman. Just when our opinion of her can’t get any better, she shocked us again.

Mrs. Mejia offered her home to us on our way back through Nogales.  Of course, we accepted her most gracious and generous offer.  After much hugs, kisses and a plethora of well wishes, we headed to Los Mochis.

The stay, on the way back, was just as welcoming.  Could something like this happen in the U.S.?  I don’t think so, but I could be wrong.

  1. Molly Mandel says:

    It would happen where I grew up, quite, quite possibly. This is a great story, Monica!


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