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Stories of My Father: “Mami de Abajo”


Childhood memories can be a tricky thing for one person more than another. Two siblings can grow up in the same environment, but the experience will be different and told differently. The way I remember my grandmother, my brother or sister may not have the same memory.

My grandmother was kind, loving, a tender woman with an abundance of love to give. We referred to her as mami de abajo( mom from below).  We lived on the fifth floor of the same building and she lived on the second, hence, the nickname. We did not call her grandma just mami. Her hair was kept tied behind her head in shape of a bun.

I remember this particular house dress that she wore, brown print with small flower buds, no sleeves and flat house slippers.

I was very attached to her, maybe due to how she showed an interest. I felt the love, care and most importantly I was valued.

Growing up in a home where your time is shared by other siblings. You don’t get the same quality from the parents. Not to say that I was loved any less. It was just the way things were in those day. My parents did the best with what they had at the time.

Mami de abajo, was passionate and strict in her way of thinking. How my father remembered the wedding planning for my cousin’s wedding? My grandmother campaigned on my behalf. She wanted me to be my cousin’s flower girl, but my cousin felt that I was too old at nine. Her first choice was my sister, who was seven.

Can you guess who won that battle? Yes, I became my cousin’s flower girl. I found the story very amusing to say the least.

There has been many instances, where I have wondered what my grandmother would say about this or that in my current life. I do feel deep in my heart that our relationship would have continued to be close, as it was when I was a child.

I was twelve when my grandmother passed. Mami de abajo, this one is for you written with love.

My grandmother, ” Mami de Abajo.”


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Family


When you are born, you don’t get to choose who you will be related to. You only get the opportunity in one lifetime to know and love your family to the best of your capabilities.
The challenge? What if your sister, brother, mother, father, cousins, aunts and uncles are not close to you?
Growing up in my immediate household I was closer to my brother than my sister. There was constant turbulence between us. My parents relationship? Not your typical marriage. My father was always working and my mother was in charge of keeping the house and us kids in order. Even my relationship with my siblings, we were at odds at one time or another.
Don’t get me wrong I love my family with all of their quirks and dysfunction. Lately,  there has been a lot more distance between us. Perhaps, life in general getting in the way and it being the culprit.
I reach out, I see my mother, my brother I speak with on occasion and my sister? Allegedly, she remains in her world. Unable to carve out time, but that’s okay I love her regardless.
I count my blessings each and everyday. I strive to keep connected with those I love. My daughter,  granddaughter and my son, on the other hand? We need to be in touch with each other more.

Like the saying goes, ” all good things come to those who wait.” Does it?