Last weekend I went to see my grandmother for the first time in many, many years. She is in a hospital because of complications after a surgery to remove a blood clot. She is 92 and has lived an incredible life, and was, at the time I saw her still very much a sassy old lady.
I had kept my distance because I had felt the right to be mad at her for acting in a mean way toward my mother. My mother however, has always had an unlimited amount of love and patience toward my grandma despite many arguments and a few choice words here and there from both parties. I should have taken note of that and made my peace with her and myself a long time ago, but such is my pride and foolishness that it took this to bring me back to her side. I was so glad to be able to see her and hug her and to know that even though she knew why I had stayed away there were no hard feelings. Only love.
Right now I am not sure if she is going to make it, but what I do know is that I have finally learned something in going through this and everything else that is happening in my life right now. Showing those you love how you feel is so important. Making the time to really be with them, not just be in the same room, but to really enjoy your time with them is even more important. It has felt so good to reconnect with my cousins and to see that my brothers and sisters are an incredible source of strength for me and my mom. I am learning to bask in the warmth that their unconditional love brings. And to think I had taken so much of it for granted. Never again.
My grandma has been a very strong presence in my life because for a great part of my childhood she was my greatest cheerleader and a source of comfort whenever life got hard. I will never forget summers at her house, laying on the tile floor to keep cool on hot days. My mother and aunts climbing up that huge Ciruela tree that grew in her back yard, bringing bucket upon bucket of that sweet fruit down. Going out to play in the rain during the torrential downpours that are common in Barranquilla during the winter months. Her amazing food, which she seemed to whip up in no time at all. Her funny little parrot, Robertito, who loved only her. I also remember her always being there whenever my mom needed her. All I can do now is pray and hope that whatever happens is for the best.