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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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Stories of My Father: The Engagement Bracelets


My father often spoke of my grandmother’s engagement bracelets. How my grandfather had proposed, and instead of an engagement ring. My grandma received a set of 24 carat gold engagement bracelets.

My grandmother always wore the bracelets, but when she passed away at age 77, they too disappeared. We never knew who in the family got possession of them. A mystery!

Although my father never went into detail of their courtship, he did mention how much my grandfather loved my grandmother and how well he provided for them until his death in 1950. After his death things changed for my grandmother and her life would never be the same again.

As a child hearing these family stories. You could not help but want to know more. Personally, I always had an ongoing curiosity about my family history. Not too long ago I joined Ancestry.com in hopes of piecing together my family’s missing pieces.

I would love to know how my grandparents met.  How long was their courtship? Did my grandfather go to my grandmother’s father for her hand in marriage? How young were they?  It all remains a mystery to this day. My father never mentioned his grandfather, only his grandmother.


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The Women in My Family


” Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”

~John Lennon

It is funny how generations of women within the same family do not communicate. As for me, I am working toward breaking the habit, and learning that communication is key! I am living proof that my daughter and I are better for it and also my mother. The day will come as we remember the good times as being a great experience. 

 I find myself in reflection…do I have a good relationship with my family? Truth be told, we are a work in progress. We talk things out, we don’t fluff and we are as real as can be!

The one thing that I find myself struggling with is having high expectations of others. I tend to want to see the greater good than the greater bad, so I get disappointed when things don’t work out.

These days, I except people as they are rather than what I expect them to be. It takes lots of practice and prayer to get to that mindset. It is a life-long process. 

If you find yourself in a similar situation, reach within your heart, and know that you made an effort in good faith and love.