Posts Tagged Family
I worked on this piece in a Creative Writing course a few semester’s ago and I have decided to go ahead and let it out into the world.
For your reading pleasure. . .
For 19 of her 22 years of life, her only constant was the shade of a mango tree on the side of her abuela’s home in South Florida. In a place where residential developments were plastering over seas of green grass and gravel roads were becoming four lane highways, the shade from that tree provided her with more than relief from a sun that poured rays of blinding light and suffocating heat.
The shade from the mango tree was her everything. She would lie on the plush green bed of grass and stare up at the long leaves that masked the sun and the mangoes that would fall to the ground when they were oto ripe to han on to the tree any longer and escape.
I have been sick for three days now and today I finally decided to make a doctor appointment for tomorrow. I hate going to the doctor even though I feel like I have a visit 3-5 times a year for some other issues. I like to think the way my abuela use to think and the way my dad thinks “It’s all in your head.” Even though I am 3rd generation Mexican-American I am still being told how “Mexican” I am and I take pride in that. I am still stubborn as can be when it comes to admitting weaknesses. I hate all of those new “tools” for cooking – if abuela didn’t need it I surely don’t need it either. I love my watermelon with chile and need salsita for even American food. And, I come out with some of the most random dichos that leave friends looking at me like I’m insane.
Although my Spanish falters some days and I catch myself caught up in American pop music, I like to think that I have held on to my Mexican roots and always will…hasta la madre!
And, another thing…What is it about the site of VapoRub on my bedside table that makes me feel like I will wake up in the morning free of aches and coughs?
And, here I am again. . .just shy of 4 a.m. and I can’t go back to sleep. It probably doesn’t help the soldier just left in the rain.
It was nothing short of an amazing 72 hours. Friday was rewarding. Saturday was relaxing. Sunday was another milestone for the soldier and me.
So, here I am. It is just shy of 5 a.m. and I have been awake for about two hours – simply one of those nights. Oh, and it’s my 22nd birthday!
For the past two hours I stared at my ceiling fan rotate lazily, walked around my humble casita seeing if there was anything I overlooked when I went on a cleaning frenzy yesterday afternoon, and stared at the dancing rain on my street. All week I’ve been waiting for today to arrive because I will have the chance to see mi familia and spend time with my collegiate familia with no worries. Yet, each time I glanced at my watch I couldn’t help but allow my mind to wander to mi abuela. I try not to think about her because the amount of time I had with her was. . .unfair and simply put. . .I still hurt. Already as I glide my hands over these keys. . .the tears have not only formed, but found a way to escape down my cheeks.
For the past few months, I have been struggling with the decision to share my final moments with her on this blog or just scribble them away in my journal. I just made the decision. . .
One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
The ones that I share a last name with.
The ones that I share a bloodline with.
The ones that share either of the above with me
The ones that have genuinely seen me through the moments that I was lost and found me when I couldn’t move on.
This past year I lost a piece of my family. . .mi abuela. We know the moment would soon arrive that we would have to say good-bye to her, but you are never truly prepared to see the second strongest woman in your life pass away. I thought I was prepared to handle that day, but I wasn’t. Seeing someone who taught me so much through example – because we’re not the type of family to shower each other with carino – pass away after going through so much pain still brings me to tears.
Now the four people who comprise my ultimate family are my pillars. It’s definitely not being an Islas because our parents have always taught us that when you begin a task you see it through the end and perform with no less than your best. . .and that over time can make you feel as if you have to work twice as hard as your neighbor. Even after all that stress – always added on an individual basis – I have learned that there will never be anyone who will come to rescue quicker than them. As always, my family, especially Bella (my mom) has taught me to keep this in mind when I feel overwhelmed, “This is just a moment in time.”
Over the past few months, I have also had the privilege of creating what I like to call The Collegiate Familia. This family consists of two branches – the Latinos and the Commies. The Latino Family consist of Priscila, Rowland, Desiree and Bri. The Commies consist of Christine, Sam, Justin and a few others. While both of these branches have completely different relationships with me, they have seen me through some of my worst moments like struggling to write an entire sports section at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday or hesitating to take that next step with the love interest. . .at the same time they have helped me realize that our time is too precious to worry about the stress our beautiful collegiate careers create. Am I forever indebted to them for helping me realize that tomorrow is just a few hours away? Definitely. Would I have survived this semester without them? Definitely not.
What is one word that can summarize 2010 for me? Family.