La Abuela

The following Chronicle is my way of getting to know La Abuela. Back when I was little in Los Angeles I would take this photo to the bathroom and contemplate it as I cried because I never knew my Abuela. I was told I did know her, but I had no memory of it or of her. I don't think anyone ever knew how I felt and I have never shared this with my mother. 



Yesterday La Abuela nos dio un susto muy grande. I was so scared carrying her tiny fragile body to her bed--she lost all her color and it seemed she stopped breathing. Her body got so tense, it seemed to me as if her soul was trying to leaver her body but she was fighting to keep it inside her. After a few minutes her body started to relax, her breathing started to normalize and she was asking questions. We rushed her to the hospital and after many tests the doctors told us she has many blood clots in her lungs. She is doing much better now, she ate breakfast and she wants to go home.



After three years in Guatemala La Abuela makes it back to Oregon. We are so blessed that she wanted to visit us again!!!



Today we were told La Abuela has lost almost all her eyesight. She has been an independent woman who raised two children, who jobs have been from washing clothes to making tortillas—where for the first few months she got blisters on her hands that never seemed to heal. Now without her eyesight, she is frustrated and getting depressed. She no longer has the autonomy to clean her home, to cook for herself, to pour herself a cup of hot water, to put toothpaste on her toothbrush, to look out the door para chismear, she is no longer able to criticize her dolls, she no longer can go through her photo album and remember her memories, and she will not be able to see my face again. She is not going to be able to see me again…



TToday is La Abuela's 86th birthday. Yesterday we had a video call with her to wish her a happy birthday. When she saw all of us she started to tear up and told us she would like to be in both places at the same time. She misses being here with us, but she is so happy she is finally home. Here in Oregon, we are all sad she is so far away and at the same time, we are all happy she is where she wants to be.

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The past two weeks will never be erased from my heart. I got to see so many new places, I got to meet new family, I got to see old friends and most importantly--I was able to spend time with La Abuela. Hay tanto que agradecer, tanto porque reír y también tanto por llorar. Dejo a mi abuela, pero me llevo todo lo que ella me compartió, todo su cariño y todas sus bendiciones.


I love La Antigua and I want to thank you for bringing me here again!.



We just landed in La Antigua...


For La Abuela, Christmas is not about giving gifts or even receiving them. It's not about wearing all new clothes and shoes. It's not about staying up until midnight to hug loved ones. It not about eating Tamales or Paches. It's not about spending all day chopping fruit for Ponche. Instead, we have been talking about her muñecas and reminiscing about the old days. She tells me how good some of her muñecas have behaved and even how bad a few of them are. We both laugh as she tells me the story of a farting dog. Out of nowhere she looks at the clock and asked me what time is it. After I tell her it's just past 8:30, she tells me she is sleepy. Tonight she prayes longer than usual as I hear her murmur names I know and many others I don't. She calls me over to give me her blessing and goes to sleep.