Abuelas

Abuelas

I’m very grateful for all the women in my life. They possess the perfect combination of love and strength (something not common among men).
It seems that women understand their power, accept their mortality, and therefore spread generosity.

Today, I would like to share 3 stories about my grandmas.

Rebeca: my home
A few months ago I realized that my ideal home was my grandparents’ house where I lived until I was 6 years old. After that time I never found a home.
I have been living on the go. My grandma Rebeca was my home. She taught me how to draw and loved me deeply.

She used to scold her grandchildren for cursing, all of them but me. She laughed out loud when I cursed and my cousins got angry
but they understood that I was the first grandson and I had some privileges.

When I told her I was going to Mexico in order to cross the border and come to the US, she took her ring off and put it on my finger.
No words were spoken after that.

Some weeks before she died I called her and announced that Luciano, her first male great-grandson, was on his way. She screamed of pure happiness.


Delia Rosa: the light
Chochi is a great listener. She could only finish 6th grade and is one of the smartest and compassionate persons I’ve known.

Several family members and friends go to see her looking for advice because she respects everyone,
doesn’t judge, and spills out the truth clean and shiny like a knife.

So trustful she is that even when her sister’s husband was having an affair, he went to see her and told her everything,
even the color of the underwear. Chochi did not blink.

If you see Chochi, I’m sure you would reveal your secrets to her because she listens with her chest.


Amparo: the one who loves the most
Ampa is my grandma’s sister and is my 3rd grandma. She is 97 years old and didn’t have children but she helped raise my mother and aunt.

Ampa is the most generous person I have met. She’s always praying and taking care of the family,
and hiding her favorite knives from everyone in the house.

When I was 18 years old I was going out with a girl. Just before a date I told Ampa that I would like her to pray for my penis.
She looked at me and started praying, right away. And at the end she told me: I love you too much.

My grandpa, Rosa’s husband, used to drink heavily and Ampa was his supporter. She told me once, almost whispering:
don’t tell your grandma but sometimes I gave him money to drink. I know it was to drink but I could not help it. I loved him too much.


Images shown above:

Rebeca, me, and Chochi at home. Photo by Ketty Mora
Ampa at home, smiling as always. Photo by Ketty Mora
Portrait of Rosa. Pencil on Arches paper, 14 x 11 in, 2014.
Portrait of Ampa. Pencil on Arches paper, 14 x 11 in, 2014.