"You are my favorite Hello and my hardest Goodbye..."
Truer words could not be found for the way my heart feels at having to depart from mi abuelita's casa this morning. We were all up early in anticipation of this being our last desayuno together. The poor dear even slept in her clothes and shoes so that she would be able to race her walker out to say goodbye should she oversleep! And truth be told, I pretty much wanted to crawl into bed and hold her all night long. But I think it's better to be invited lol. And if she did ask, I didn't understand it!
What was easy to understand, was her sadness. My great aunt Allejandra stayed longer than usual to see me off and be of comfort to her, because it was so obvious that she was struggling with the pain of being left alone again. Together we have shared so many poignent moments this week. I told her, (in spanish, can you believe it?!) "We have had already enough tears, and we will have more laughs together, for all I have to do is think of you and I will smile." That she needs to live a long time -as if turning 98 next week is not enough- so that I can bring my daughters and "husband" to meet and entertain and be of help to her as well. That she will always be alive, for she and I are cut from the same natural fibers. I have lived all of these years within her heart, and ahora, es tiempre por mi corazon to crezcan, and make enough room for her to live the rest of my life within mine. And that I will be much better about phoning her, now that I really understand her "schedule." Then, being me, needing to see her smile even as tears streamed down our three triste faces, "Por favor, vaya con mi en mi bolsa- tu es mucho delgado, se que se ajuste a!" And I got the smile I needed to be able to tear myself away...
Why do we let life get in the way of our true heart's desires... it is such an American way to be. Putting aside our concern for each other. Having excuses like, oh they don't really need to see or hear me to know how much I love them, or, they can take care if themselves and would ask for help if need be. Not that the latter isn't true, but it is so much better to be with one another in person, verdad? Hitting "Like" on facebook is only one way to interact with one another and not a very great one at that. Don't get me wrong, facebook allows me to connect with my cousins in a way that my childhood definately did not. I love being able to see my friends and family growing, posts about what they are doing and places they go etc. It is a way for me to feel that I know them...
But wouldn't getting together for even a few moments over the telephone be even better? Wouldn't it be more incredible to accompany my cousins and let our children share more than we did? You know, when I was younger, the greeting cards I made throughout the year would be promptly mailed off or hand delivered. As I have sold more and more cards each month in stores, it has become apparent that I no longer actually send the cards, I make them with the person in mind and then decide that if it doesn't sell before the next seasonal greetings are appropriate, I'll send it then. Isn't that terrible!? The good news is that, as with any recovery process, the first step has been taken with my publicly admitting, "My name is Anna, and I have a problem sending out my greeting cards." Now I can be made accountable, if by no one but myself at least.
I had to tell my father how happy I was with the time I have spent here these last 8 days. That these trips to see my grandmother have helped my Spanish vocabulary grow immensely. All the years of schooling have not been able to stick, but just 6 days in her kitchen and two with my cousins, and I can say so much and understand even more. I can hardly imagine a better way to learn than in my family's company! Of course, Google translate has my thanks as well because it was so much easier this visit to find the actual words I needed to express myself.
But even more important, these two visits, last year and this, have helped my heart to grow. I would not say I am a grinch, but I do know the lovely, slightly uncomfortable feeling of a daily expansion within my chest. The awareness of time passed without correspondence only leaves room for improvement in the future. As my cousin Martha recently wrote, "Yes, there were flashbacks...and many tears..." during her visit to Tenamaxtlan and with our family in Tala last year. I am hoping that when I visit again- and I will, I know- I will be happier with my efforts upon reflection. My daughters and family deserve the best of my love; all that I have to give and can help to inspire within the rest of my family and acquaintances lies within my abuelita-inspired, love-filled heart.
I did not say goodbye, but instead that I will see her in my dreams each night- en mis bueno suenos!