Fifteen years ago my Father’s Mother, Abuelita Angelica, passed away. I had just moved to Arlington, Virginia, with my then boyfriend and our baby girl. Life was confusing, fast paced and yet ridiculously simple at the time.
Abuelita Angelica was a simple uncomplicated woman. I remember spending summers with her, hours in the backyard playing with my dolls. She was not the typical grandmother, she was more like my older friend. I could always count on her to keep me company and play whatever the hell I wanted. She was my companion, my playmate and my soulmate. She never reprimanded me for anything I did, and as a little girl I was constantly causing all sorts of mischievous happenings in our household.
One time, while Abuelita was taking a nap in a chair in our living room, I decided it would be fun to tie her to the chair with some rope and cover her entire body with a bed sheet. I proceeded to stand next to this covered restrained body and scream at the top of my lungs: “War is coming, war is coming!” Keep in mind that this was in Nicaragua during the 80’s after we had lived through a revolution. Needless to say, my parents were extremely upset with me that afternoon, but not Abuelita Angelica, she wanted to keep playing dolls with me in the backyard.
When she passed away I was so self absorbed with my life that I did not pay that much attention to the fact that my Grandmother, the woman who spent countless summers and vacations with me, entertaining and keeping me company, providing unconditional love, had died. I didn’t think much of it, I thought it was the natural cycle of life, and that death was just that, death.
Recently, I have been thinking a lot about her, about the color of her skin and the way she used to smell. About the sound of her voice and her warm gentle touch. I miss her.
I now understand what is happening, I am finally grieving Abuelita Angelica.
A few months ago I dreamt with her. We were in a park and the scenery was very green, and it smelled like freshly cut grass. I remember seeing her sitting on a picnic table, serene and happy. Nothing was said, but a lot was felt. I remember the feeling in the dream was that of overwhelming love and joy. And that is exactly how I remember her, times of love and joy that filled my childhood.