Sunday, May 14, 2017


I pondered this post for several days, because I fear it will be misconstrued. Your left - left to right, mom, mi abuelita [grandmother] and tia Angelita [aunt]. All three are inside of me and raised me. When I think of mom I think of many things. Her strength and resolve is my curse I guess. I think all of the time, I am failing to measure up. Think for a minute. It is 1963, you are in this country for maybe 17 years and as a Hispanic widow who had suffered discrimination you move your family from Utah to NY. With 7 kids in tow, one being only 2, and the favorite being 5 [lol], you have to change planes in Chicago. 

You eventually enter a welfare program to go to Hoftra to become a social worker, while also working during the day at what then not now was called a school for the mentally retarded, all while trying to manage 7 kids. She changed things for our community by using her position to force the county hospital to put signs in both Spanish and English. 

My friend Jody's mother use to tell me all of the time how admired mom was for meeting her challenges face on. As a child you see mom as mom. She always had the time to do things with us. She made us a family unit. She forgave daddy for not telling the truth about his other 5 kids, and connected them with us.

Our aunt Angelita and her children and grandchildren were an integral part of the family. She was strong. But mom passed when i was 19. Many visits to Nicaragua connected me to mi abuelita. I will never forget how she told my mother she could not go on a date for her 55th because none of her brothers were going along. Mom went. She showed me a love only a grandmother can give. It is not better than your mom's love, it is just different.

 I love the two weeks I had with mi abuelita after she lost her memory. Every day was the same, "vos eres el hijo de Alicita, Bobbysito" - you are the son of Alicia, little Bobby] We would go through the picture albums every day and I would tell her who was who. The next day, she would say the same thing to me and we would go though the picture albums again. 

Even during these daily times together her love was so powerful. She could not remember the day before, but deep inside she knew everyone, and just overflowed with love. Her eyes were so telling of her love. Her smile when she would say "vos eres el hijo de Alicita, Bobbysito" just filled me with love, and the importance of mothers and family. 

But then someone had to take over for mom, after she passed. I was so close to mi tia Angelita. We all were. I can still hear her laughter. It was the same as at the Fun House at Coney Island. After leaving NY 41 years ago, I never returned without running into the Bronx and later Brooklyn to see her. She was a trip. She was always there to help me.  As a child on Saturday night while watching horror films, she would pay us a penny for every white hair we pulled.  Back then you could buy candy for a penny.

So in the end on this Mother's Day I say, It takes a Village of Moms to raise children.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tribute! So many of us had multiple "Moms" in out lives. Gone, but never forgotten.