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.