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Mothers


A striking, raven-haired beauty steps out of a yellow taxi cab. I have been playing in the yard, but I stop what I am doing and gravitate toward her. A breeze blows her long, curly hair into her face and she shakes it out of the way with a toss of her head.  She cradles a small bundle in her arms.  I am curious why it is wrapped in a blanket when it is so hot outside, and I want a peek at this thing.  I watch my mama as she walks past me, a crowd follows in her wake and I follow too.

I am three years old and this is the earliest memory I have of my mother, the day she brought my baby sister home from the hospital. Mama was twenty-five then; she is 84 now, and she is still the most striking woman I know.  She still amazes me; I still follow in her wake.  

*   *   *

 A son needs advice.  My carne guisada gets raves. My grandson asks for a song or a story to go with our play.

None of these actions are mine; I learned them from my grandmother.   

Ene lived with us during all my childhood.  She raised me while my mother worked, so her words pour out of my mouth; her actions guide mine; how I interact with others are her influence.  I imitate her and take the credit, but there are days I wish she were here to give me even more guidance.

On those days, I talk to the air knowing she hears me. I wait and I listen. What I wouldn’t do to have her with me once again.  I miss her.



Happy Mother’s Day, ladies.  

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