Thursday, March 22, 2007

La Borinqua

After my run Sunday I headed over to grandma's. i sat in the car for a bit before going in. as i approached the house i could see my family milling about. i was greeted by uncle pete, who said "hi, honey. go on it's okay, she looks like she's sleeping". the hospice nurse and priest had already come and gone and grandma looked like she did on many a visit, sleeping peacfully.

grandma tillie was no ordinary grandma, she was the ultimate party girl. she loved good food, music, family and friends. she was certainly a lady ahead of her time. she retired after 30 years with Greyhound in reservations and she was the first female president of the Puerto Rican Club in San Francisco. her legacy includes 7 children, 17 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and 11 great great grandchildren...and still counting.

grandma had her share of pain and not being able to dance or cook or care for herself took it's toll. she instilled in us a love our Puerto Rican culture and she wanted us to enjoy those things for her by having lots of family, music and food around. which we did for the last 3 weeks she was home.

the funeral is this afternoon. afterwards there will be one big party at the Puerto Rican Club as she requested. she loved life and made it very clear that we were not to stay down.

as i approach the final leg of this trip i am not so much sad as i am so proud to of had this woman in my life. despite being only one many many grandchildren, grandma had a way of making me feel special. she will be missed but never forgotten. every time i try to cook gondule rice or empanadia's every time i dance salsa or hear hawaiian music i know my love for these things came from her.