To Selena, With Love by Chris Perez

Chris Perez tells the story of many things in this beautiful book about his late wife, Selena Quintanilla. He tells the story of love in its most beautiful form, the story of life when lived with passion and authenticity, and the story of a loss so profound it seems an insurmountable obstacle.

Selena Quintanilla was an extremely popular Tejano singer, and although she was mostly known in the Mexican-American community, she was on a swift rise towards the top of the music industry at the time of her death, and To Selena, With Love talks about this. However, what I love most about this book, is that it could have been about anyone pursuing their dreams, famous or not, and still been an incredible story. Truthfully, her music is not something I would listen to, and I had never even heard of her before I saw Selena, and yet I feel so touched and inspired by the life she lived.

Selena serves an example of how to live life authentically and to the fullest. She found her passion, her gifts, and she worked hard to follow through and be successful despite the many obstacles. She found her true love, and she fought to be with Chris before they were married, and then fought to keep their love alive. At the age of 23 she had accomplished so much in terms of making a difference in the lives of others through her work, her music, and her relationships.

So many times, when reading this book, I found myself thinking “Wow, what a beautiful soul”. She embraced herself, and others, she valued everyone around her. She was playful and found ways to have fun despite her hectic schedule. She wasn’t perfect, Chris doesn’t paint Selena as being that way, he talks about her faults, but her love and vivacity always win. Her death was a tragedy, no doubt about that, but the beauty of Selena, is that although her life was short in terms of time, her life was not “small” because of the way she lived and seized the day while she was alive.

I hope to face life as Selena did; with joy, determination, optimism, and of course, with love.