I wait 360 for 5 days a year; the day before Thanksgiving until the Sunday after. These 5 days, my family gathers at my parents' house. The diaspora being what it is, we have become spread out in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Michigan, and many remain in Puerto Rico. One can never be sure exactly who will be arrive because every year it's different. This year, all of my papi's sisters decided to come. This would be the first time they all came at the same time. It was also the first time that the extended family of siblings and cousins would be after my abuela's passing. There were so many hugs to give and memories to share. As my family always does, we also spent much time living in the present, giving thanks for the opportunity to be together and laugh and share each other's company. All 18 of us sleeping in blow up beds all over the house slept so soundly knowing we were together and knowing it would end soon. We ate, sang, drank, played games, took pictures, played instruments, ate again, told jokes, painted ornaments, drank coffee and ate some more. There was so much love and kindness shared that it seemed like a dream. We all know how blessed we are to have and enjoy each other but we do so by putting forth the effort and energy it takes to make these reunions happen. Everyone makes a little sacrifice for the good of the group. Amazing family I am a part of. <3
"Family is not an important thing. It's everything." ~ Michael J. Fox
My grandma, Abuela Tita is now at peace. She was blessed with 90 full years. She affected many lives and gave life to 3 generations that she lived and laughed with and loved. What a woman she was! She was born in Ceiba and traveled the world. She scolded me but made me laugh. She let me rummage through her closets and take her pictures. She made coffee with a sock and always had it ready with warm sweet bread and butter. She made chuletas that made my mouth water and she always got on a plane to Philly or Texas to be present with her family. She was pint-sized but so full of energy...like a firecracker. She always loved the rainstorms. She loved so hard, she gave so much. I am grateful to have her blood running through my veins. ❤
I made a photoshow last March for my abuela's 90th birthday. I wish I had been there to see her watch it. Living across the Atlantic...instead of an enchanted island...far away from my family made me learn to cherish photos...they were all I had as a little girl to feel close to them. Maybe it was my abuela's wall of photos in the dining room with the faces of her parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren watching as I ate on her white and pick China that gave me the notion that I could keep people present the same way. My father reminded me yesterday how being an army wife kept her far from her family too... Here are photos of her beloved family, the family that she created...