It is a fact well-known that dancing is good for the soul. I totally subscribe to this belief. I have been dancing since I was a toddler and no therapy in the world is more effective than a few turns around the dance floor.
My aunt Lucilia is a perfect example that dance is the cure for all evils. She had a tough life; born poor and prone to bouts of severe asthma. After marrying my uncle she gave birth to a baby girl. A couple years later they both got struck by a train. She survived, the baby didn’t. My cousin, the only boy in a family of females, came next. He is just slightly younger than me and we grew up together, living across the street from each other. My aunt got pregnant many times after that. She lost the baby girls every time after carrying them to term. She cleaned the skyscraper she lived in, washing the marble stairs from ground to the tenth floor on her knees with a rag and a bucket. She also washed clothes for working people, ironed and did alterations and other sewing services to make extra money to keep her family fed. In her middle years she was abandoned by her husband and left alone to finish bringing up her teenage son. Through it all one thing kept her going; dancing.
She passed away a couple days ago from complications from an infection. She was 80 years old. She still cleaned her building every day. She still washed and ironed clothes for others. She still let out and hemmed pants. And to get her going without giving in to exhaustion or desperation she still went dancing every weekend.
I hadn’t seen her in a few years living on the other side of the pond as I do but I will always remember her as a dancer. No matter how exhausted, how drained she was she never, ever stopped dancing. In fact, I bet she is dancing with the angels right now.
Rest in peace tia Lucilia. May the afterlife be full of music and bailaricos* and may your pain be gone forever.