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A Traditional Quinceanera Is a Dream Come True

By Frances Gonzalez-Boyd



Walking gallantly down the aisle, a proud father gave his daughter in hand to her new young womanhood. The fifteen-year old dame was dressed in a white long satin dress with a stylish vogue hairdo. The two helped fulfill a grandfather’s dream to celebrate her fifteenth birthday with a Quinceanera that took two years to plan which was on June 21st at St. Paul United Methodist Church. During the royal ceremony song lyrics touched many hearts… “Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket. Hold it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day. Love may come and tap you on your shoulder on some starless night.” Dreams usually come true {{more}} when you catch and wish upon a falling star. Carlos, 51, and Donna Chacon, 49, did more than wish, but they prayed together with others for a miracle so they could all see the day when their wish could come true.Family traditions still exist, and even grandparents wishes for their grandchildren come true. Without Jeanna, their miracle child, the magical moment could not have taken place. Jeanna is a survivor of an open-heart surgery at the age of two. “This was a dream of her great grandfather Juan Medrano. He loved her very much and made an effort to make sure she had a happy life. We thank the Lord for her full recovery and all we know that she is a blessed miracle. We give glory to God and continue to pray because God has a special plan for her. The Lord loves you Jeanna and we all love you. Thank you, Jeanna for everything,” said her aunt, Anne Lara, as she spoke for all Jenna’s’ family. The love for Medrano, who played the saxophone, deceased in 2003 was expressed greatly by many family members. Elena Hernandez and Lupe Chacon are Jeanna’s grandmothers, and they were also highly praised and spoken of by the family. Droplets of magic fell as the two flower girls, Lauren, 9, and Lexie Chacon, 4, granddaughters of the Chacon couple, spread petals as they walked gracefully leading the royal court of seven escorts and their Damas. Theme colors of the Quinceanera were white and pastel lavender. Jeanna’s escort, Matt Mendenhall, 16, wore a white suit with a lavender shirt. Matt and Jeanna made a beautiful couple and were the highlight of the ceremony as they joined at the altar. What does the Quinceanera mean to Jenna? “I think it is wonderful about the tradition. In this generation, you lose all the traditions. I am very excited, but I am stressed at the same time from planning everything. I am very thankful for my parents and my grandfather because he had this dream for me, even though he is not here, the dream is coming true, she adds, “It means taking a big step into womanhood; from doing child things and then becoming a woman. I am a little scared. I just took drivers education and I am fixing to start driving,” Jeanna’s escort, Mendenhall, better known as the gentleman of honor, felt honored to play the role. “This is a big thing. This is kind of an equivalent of a marriage, but without the “I dos”. Jeanna and I are in the youth, and one evening at church during at our bible study, she asked me if I could be her escort in her Quinceanera. Carlos owns his business, Chacon Upholstery and Donna is a Teacher’s Aide at Cornerstone Christian School in Abilene. The Chacons have two other children; Carlos Jr., 31 and Paul John, 30. As parents, they have not only worked hard to plan the Quinceanera for Jeanna, but have an awesome story about how they stuck together and made it through good and bad times. Parents are not always perfect, but it helps when couples know that changes can make a positive difference. A scripture that might be a positive significant impact for the Chacon family is one that is on a colorful rock that sits on their front porch…Ecclesiastes 3; 1-8 There is time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven; a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot. “I see Jeanna happy and in peace. She is turning into a woman now at fifteen and is going to want more. I hope she sees that we were there for her, and that we just want the best for her and also to have more for her daughters when they grow up.” Carlos said.Asked what he thought about the Quinceanera? , he shares…”It came by real fast. I remember when Jeanna was three. She had open-heart surgery. She grew up too fast for us. I guess because we were always busy. I think it is just important for me to be there asa Dad, and to try to guide her to make the right decisions. Donna and I always keep tabs on what goes on in her life. Carlos shares how he changed his life and how Jenna’s surgery had an impact on him, “I was lost in my own little world, like drinking and drugging. I am sober now and have been for seven years. You do not know what you have and go through till you almost lose it. I think that is what made me change, and all of Donna’s prayers.” Carlos said. He believes that family should be close to one another in relationship. “I think so. That is what I want with my immediate family and with my sons.” He said.Donna wanted to say “I was not involved as a youth as a teen. Jeanna is involved as a youth at St. Paul United Methodist Church. She is among Christian leaders. Her youth pastor is Trey Gillette. I think that a spiritual foundation needs to be of God first, and it teaches true values to youth of what their life should be. You have to have the lines of communication open all the time. If they make mistakes, continue to love them, because to me love conquers everything.” Donna had the opportunity to give Jeanna one of the gifts as she went to the altar. She placed them on her ears, “These earrings symbolize authority, responsibility; theymean that you are to listen to the word of God and always hear him respond.” Tearfully she then hugged Jeanna. All the gifts that were presented to Jeanna at the ceremony all representedsigns of royalty. One was a bible and another bracelet which stood for purity symbolizing God’s love, and the, Tiara that stands for facing the challenges ahead. Family traditions such as the Chacon Quinceanera do not always come with a testimony, stories, wonders and miracles. It is nice when parents make a difference in their children’s life, and are able to make their dreams come true. Jeanna shares about her future dreams. She will be a freshman at Abilene High School next year. “I want to finish high school, possibly with honors, and then to attend college in Texas. I will major to be a teacher, maybe an elementary or middle school teacher” said Jeanna. She goes on to share with other teenagers who are experiencing trying times with their families, “Rely on God, he can do the impossible.” Jeanna’s Quinceanera consisted of a reception and dinner at the Civic Center. The event was very colorfully decorated with an enormous amount of purple and white balloons and silver ribbon. The walls were also decorated with plain Christmas lightsthat brought out the night even more. The cake was white with purple outlining it, andfor dinner there was brisket, rice, beans, tea and other non-alcoholic beverages. The highlight of the reception was Jeanna as she was escorted in a limousine with some of the damas and their escorts. She sat outside the limo waving at family and guests that were cheering on for her. Later that night, Jeanna and other youth members performed with their own dance to a song, “Set the World on Fire.” The legacy of the Jeanna’s family traditions will certainly be passed on to her children, and the beautiful memory of her fifteenth Quinceanera birthday celebration. The dream of a grandfather, senor Medrano that passed on his values to his family and to that of a younger generation is a part of his future should be remembered by many people. because he is a good example of someone that believes that there is still beauty in the eyes of the beholder as long as we stand firm on the foundation of the rock, and the strength that comes from our creator that brings forth miracles. Wishes can become miracles for people that also pray and believe like the Chacon family.

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