abuela, i miss you so much. i remember when you taught me how to dance in your living room. and how you explained the difference between salsa and merengue with your hips. every time i’d come visit you, you would have arroz con pollo already made, with love. and the world’s best beans. you would reheat them in the microwave with a few drops of water and covered in wax paper. i remember watching all the miss universe pageants with you and you’d always express with conviction the beauty queen that deserved to win and you were always right. i don’t think it hurt that Miss Puerto Rico has won more than any other nation. i remember how you would pinch the f*** out of my nose so it would be more straight and less wide and ethnic looking! i remember how clean your house always was and organized. you had all of your shoe boxes labeled. “navy blue pumps.” i remember going to the movies with you, we would sneak in nachos and soda that you would conceal perfectly in plastic tupperware in your gigantic purse. no matter what film it was, you would always fall asleep and snore super loudly. and then i’d wake you up and you’d complain of how the movies of today were horrible. you said you always used to go to the movies every week no matter what when you were growing up. you had seen all the classics. you could sing all the standards. you had this cute nasal voice. i heard that mom got her voice from abuelo but i’ll give you some credit for your musicality.
until i was older i had no idea how chic you were. you were super stylish. i wear some of your stuff now, like the gold chain handkerchief necklace. i wear your pearl belt as a necklace too. i think you would appreciate that. i would’ve loved to have worn your clothes if we were the same size. though i am petite i never inherited your DD breasts. you told me to be grateful, and that i would never have back problems. i remember being a kid and playfully putting your enormous bras over my booty which still couldn’t fill out your bras! ha!
i’m so glad that you got to see me graduate college and learn how to dance like a true salsera. since you passed- i learned how to cook, i’ve written 2 albums, i’ve done yoga teacher training (i would’ve loved to teach you), i died my hair back to blonde (you would be so happy- you always loved me blonde… though i’m not sure how long i’ll keep it!). but i can’t help wishing you would be here for the day i get married. and i wish i learned to speak Spanish properly and we could’ve conversed solo en espanol… i remember you would speak to me slowly and then just get tired and say “it takes too long” in English. jajaja! you would watch endless telenovelas on telemundo (you had years and years of VHS cassettes of them). and you would explain to me the intricate dramas of them.
i miss your advice. i remember what scrutiny you put my boyfriends through. most you ignored. one you treated pretty badly. one you liked but said “he wasn’t the one.” i wonder what you think about the man i’m with now.
i really feel your presence and energy sometimes, when i’m dancing it’s like you become a part of me. i think it’s part of why i become so OVERWHELMED with complete joy and bliss when i’m in the zone of the perfect salsa rhythm. and there are certain things about me that i know don’t come from my parents but come from you. i know you are watching over me now. i see your signs- like when you moved the photos of you.. not once but twice and many feet away… one fell down the stairs… yet all the other photos not of you were perfectly in tact. i think this is the way you tell me that you are there. protecting me. watching over me. communing with me. and i’m so grateful.
i miss you. i wanna laugh with you. you’re so silly. i want to hug you. and cook for you. and dance with you. you had so much passion. fire. love. class. feist. strength. smarts. beauty. it will never be as it once was. but i do believe our souls will reunite in another realm.