La Llorona

As I read social media reaction to the Casey Anthony trial, one question captured my attention. How could any mother murder her children? I immediately thought of the Hispanic legend of La Llorona, the Weeping Woman.

Maria was a beautiful woman. Some thought her too beautiful for her own good. She thought herself too good for any of the men of her village. One day a stranger rode into town, a handsome ranchero who found Maria irresistible. They were soon engaged and married.
Years passed with both Maria and her husband happy with one another. Their two children basked in the love of their parents. But work was hard to find in the nearby villages. The ranchero was forced to find work across the border unable to visit Maria and the children often.
The day Maria dreaded arrived. The ranchero did not return home, but sent only a letter stating he had a new family across the border and she was free to remarry. Maria held her children close crying. The village would not favor Maria nor her children now. Maria would find it difficult to find enough work to support her children. Their lives would become desperate.
Late one night at Mass, Maria realized her children would be better with God in the Heavens than starving on earth. She walked her children to the river, speaking calmly, telling them of her love. One by one she held her children beneath the water until each lifeless body floated away from her.
In the morning, Maria went to the children’s room to wake them. Looking at their empty beds, she realized what she had done the previous night. Running to the river, Maria cried out for her children, “Where are my children?” Some say she then threw herself in the water and drowned. Others say she waits for children by the water, waiting to take them with her. Listen to the winds near the water and you can hear La Llorona crying for her children. 
This story is found near Gary, Indiana, where there is thought to be a woman in white who walks the roads where she and her children were killed in an automobile accident. The Southwest is filled with stories of The Weeping Woman who can be heard crying and sometimes seen near the water’s edge. 
Normally, this story is used as a warning tale to keep children away from the waterways which swell during monsoon season. Yet, it is also a tale of a woman who struggles to understand abandonment and loss. Let us not ignore it is a tale of murder, the murder of innocent children. 
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