I’d like to imagine that you would read this in heaven. I imagine that in heaven you will somehow understand any language ever spoken. I’d also like to imagine that big smile of yours, as you hold your hands together, and roll your thumbs. I promised to tell your story, and today I will. The eighth of August was by far your favorite day. You loved celebrations, you could not imagine a life without presents, and you in the center was perhaps your happiest place to be.
So today this is my gift to you Sweet Rigo. Por siempre mi consejerita de la vida.
First a wife, then a mother, grandmother, and for me, a forever friend. I will never forget the countless car ride conversations on our way to Dr. Conkeys, Panera, Target, or the mall. As I grew a little bit older each year, you would trust me a little bit further with more of your stories. Now I look back and realize you shared them to teach me lessons on love. Those closest to your heart would know that that the story of your past is not the kind you write on. It’s a past that amongst its beauty carried its sorrow, carried its pain. Yet through the difficult times, and perhaps for you the most trying of times, you held your head up high, and you loved your husband. Perhaps behind that love the dreams that you longed for unseen, but behind that love a genuine one that would last forever until now that you are reunited with your love in heaven.
Lesson one: Love your spouse. Forgive your spouse. Grams I’m still working on this one, ask Miguel. But I promise to look at him when I’m angry, and remember your counsel, and let my heart soften, and my eyes glisten, as I apologize, and love him with genuine, true, deep, love.
As a mother you have given me the greatest example. You have loved, protected, and cared for your five children up until adulthood and more. You have never stopped being a mother. Never did you feel empty nest syndrome, because you were surrounded by your children and their families. There is no perfect parent. Yet your five children have grown up and created my generation of cousins, and to me that simply shows you did a perfect job Grams. Perhaps that role of a mother you took on as a priority when you lost your husband. You knew they would need both a dad and a mom, so you became both.
Lesson two: Care for your children even in their adult years, as throughout their life, they will always need you. Parenting doesn’t end at 18, it is a task for a lifetime.
As a grandmother, you outweigh them all. You are the definition of a grandmother. You have played a unique role in each of your grandchildren’s lives. You have loved each one of them individually, and to the best of your ability. You have filled us with candy, chocolate, and propinita. You have supported us, believed in us, and cheered us on. You have shared stories, and in your bed shared snoring. You have made each one of us feel, as though, we were the best, we were the favorites. You have danced with us, laughed with us, and cried with us. The day before your coma, you danced. Like really danced. You moved your hips to the salsa music, as your granddaughters circled around you dancing with you.
Lesson three: Strive to be the best grandmother ever. Wear the best grandmother sweater from JcPennys, and mean it. Live it. Make your grandchildren’s wishes and dreams come true, and let there always be a magical touch to your words.
Lastly, as my forever friend. You left me a legacy. I believe that above all the lessons that you have engrained in me, lasts the truest, most impacting lesson of all. That lesson is that of prayer. Rigo you listened to me talk about the boy of my dreams, since I knew boys existed. You heard my heartbreak, my crushes, my make believe stories. You, more than anyone had so much patience as I went on and on about boys and marriage. Never once did you stop me from sharing. You simply listened, smiled, paused, and stated, “ Estoy orando por el idoneo (I am praying for the chosen one).”I can hear your words out loud. They are written in my heart. You prayed Rigo. Not just for my dreams, for your children’s dreams, and your grandchildren’s.
Lesson four: May I follow your example always, and become a true prayerful woman. May I believe so firmly in God’s promises for life, that I would proclaim them in my life, and that of others. As we grow, and have children, may I teach them they are loved, cherished, and called to dream.
I know I have my romantic side because of you. You were the original dreamer of our family. Behind your trashy novels was your love for the love story, the unrequited love. You believed in movie moments. With that I know you had your movie moments. You watched your children grow, and become parents. You taught your children how to care, how to bathe, and how to protect their children. You laughed with your granddaughters and spoiled your grandsons. You saw Antu graduate university, saw Luciana announce the birth of her daughter. She named her after you gram. You saw Milly and Lisette become moms. You saw Aley walk down the aisle, and you walked that aisle proudly, and gorgeous by the way. You saw Daniela graduate high school. And grandma, you saw your dream for me come true. You saw me fall in love. You saw me promise forever when Miguel and I married in Peru.
When that day comes, and I walk toward my prince in my beautiful white dress, that you saw me in. I will look up and blow you a kiss. I will know God is opening the windows of heaven and you grams will be watching me. The heavens will sing, and you will dance as you celebrate the answer to your prayer for me.
My dear Brave one. You showed me courage, strength, perseverance, love, life, and friendship. You showed me a love and friendship that I can only wait for heaven to feel again. Because you truly loved grandma.
Your story is not a cancer story, cancer never defined you. Your story is one of love, because love, always defined you. Thank you Rigo.
Happy Birthday. Your Rigo.