So many immigrants are all too familiar with the feeling of homesickness. From the food, the language, the culture of one’s own country, it’s an incredibly difficult process to leave a familiar life in pursuit of a something new. But perhaps most difficult of all is saying hasta luego to loved ones—sometimes for years, or, in many cases, even decades.
For Twitter user @aashleylozano, watching her mother and grandparents reunite for the first time in 23 years was a heartwarming experience that inspired many people to share their own stories of reunion and reconnection.
@aashleylozano recorded her mama as she approached her parents, @aashleylozano’s abuelos in the Portland International Airport. The three of them embrace tearfully in a moment of sheer joy, savoring the fact that they could finally hug each other after 23 years apart.
According to @aashleylozano, her mother left Petatlan, Guerrero, Mexico, due to struggles with @aashleylozano’s father. In order to separate herself from the conflict, @aashleylozano’s mom moved the family to the U.S., eventually ending up in Oregon. And after spending two decades apart, @aashleylozano’s abuelos finally got their visas approved and were able to make their way to the Pacific Northwest for a visit.
The video garnered an enthusiastic response from other immigrants (and second-generation folks), eager to share their own experiences with being separated—and reunited—with family after too much time apart.
This Latina shared a video of her dad reuniting with her abuelo.
This Latina shared a video of her mom and her tías reuniting with their parents after 15 years apart.
This Latina expressed her gratitude for belonging to a family who is lucky enough to be together. She also acknowledged the sacrifices her parents made to provide her with a better life, which is enough to give anyone escalofríos.
Many people mentioned that they couldn’t imagine being so far away from their parents for such a long time, like this Twitter user, who lamented the fact that families ever need to separate, offering hope for a better future:
This Twitter user was also optimistic, wishing that all immigrant families could experience this family’s joy:
And this Twitter user encouraged others to put themselves in immigrants’ shoes, imagining how difficult it would be to form a whole new life, in a whole new country, with a totally different culture:
Many of the replies to @aashleylozano’s original video were from people who simply had a strong emotional response to her family’s reunion. Seemingly endless tears were shed from people overwhelmed with happiness for this family finally coming together, but a lot of folks were also saddened by the fact that they were apart for so long, as so many immigrant families are. But the majority of responses were deeply positive, with people celebrating the reunion and offering blessings and well wishes for their future.
Although many people shared their own beautiful stories of reunion, many also drew attention to the difficulties of being away from family. Several Twitter users cited the deaths of grandparents that occurred while their parents were establishing new lives in the US, describing many missed opportunities to spend time with loved ones because of immigration restrictions and challenging life circumstances.
This Twitter user expressed gratitude for the fact that her mother only had to go 4-5 years without seeing her parents (which is still a super long time!), but that her uncle wasn’t as lucky, as he was never able to return to Mexico to see his parents before they passed.
This Latina’s mother has also gone more than 25 years without seeing her mama, and she acknowledged her excitement to bring her mama and her abuela together again—especially since her mama didn’t get to see her dad before he passed away two years ago.
This Latina hasn’t seen her own mom for 5 years, and @aashleylozano’s video took her through a rollercoaster of emotions.
The internet can be an amazing tool for staying connected and for offering support to people who share our most challenging experiences. No matter what one’s experience with immigration might be, it’s almost always bittersweet, with moments of joy, moments of grief, and everything in between. And interactions like @aashleylozano’s family reunion remind us to cherish the time we have with our loved ones, and to remain optimistic about what the future might hold for us and the people we care about most.
We all know that growing old is inevitable in this life and that our days on Earth are numbered. Regardless of that truth, it’s human nature to either feel afraid of growing old or to feel melancholy when it comes to thinking of growing old. What can be even more painful is seeing our parents, our aunts and uncles, or our grandparents growing old and imagining a life without them in it.
Last week, one woman on Twitter shared a video of her grandfather who has dementia singing along with her to “Fallaste Corazón” by Pedro Infante in a fleeting moment of lucidness.
In the video, you can see the woman singing with such passion to her grandfather who is attentively watching her sing and who later begins to sing along to the lyrics as well.
Dayis, on Twitter, shared that her “tata” doesn’t remember a lot of things due to his dementia but in an effort to help him with his dementia, she sings to him every day.
“Today he remembered the song fallaste corazón and I swear I was trying so hard not to cry,” she writes. “This many is my life.”
According to the site, “musical aptitude and appreciation” are two of the last remaining abilities in dementia patients, music can bring emotional and physical closeness, music can shift moods and stimulate positive interactions, and it evokes emotions that bring back memories.
Since musical aptitude and appreciation are the last remaining abilities in patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, “music is an excellent way to reach beyond the disease and reach the person.” In later stages of dementia, patients are also prone to losing the ability to share emotions with their caregivers or family members but through music, they can still reach that emotional and physical closeness they once had. Further, singing to and with dementia patients is engaging and it leads to patients “exercising more mind power than usual.”
People who saw the touching video on social media were not only quick to share their reactions after watching it but they also shared their own personal experiences with family members and loved ones who had dementia.
One Twitter user replied to @Dayannagmusic03 and shared that they couldn’t stop watching the video.
The Twitter user went on to say that their grandfather also has dementia but notices sometimes that “something around him has triggered a memory” and to see that, they said, is the best feeling in the world.
The woman who initially posted the video shared that her “tata” is currently on “stage 6” of dementia and although it’s been a long and rough battle, “he always seems to remember certain songs.”
“When he does, it warms my heart with joy,” she continued to write on Twitter.
It’s safe to say the video had a lot of people in their feels and rightfully so.
We love to see raw and touching moments like these.
The 0:50 mark made us ugly cry too.
This is right when her grandfather starts to faintly sing along with her and man, she sings with so much emotion too.
Other folks on Twitter sent their blessings to her family and her grandfather.
We hope her grandfather continues to have more moments like this.
People on Twitter also compared the heartwarming video to the movie Coco.
Remember the scene toward the end of the film when Miguel sings to Mamá Coco and she begins to remember? I’m not crying, YOU’RE CRYING.
Others said what we’re all thinking… just thinking about our parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents getting old hurts a little bit more as we keep getting older ourselves.
We’d like to keep believing their invincible and will live forever.
Another Twitter user @missmalindakat tweeted that she had never seen anyone sing with more “heart and passion” than in that video.
One Twitter user shared her own video of her grandfather in a similar situation who also seemed to remember the lyrics to “El Rey” by Vicente Fernández when her great aunt sang it to him.
It’s touching to see other folks sharing their similar experiences and videos in an effort to support one another. This video has also amassed over 47,000 views on Twitter.
Listen to “Fallaste Corazón” in full on YouTube below:
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