Before she was my grandmother she was a little girl from Cuba who grew up to marry her first love...my grandfather Jorge. The two of them, along with my uncle Jorge (a newborn at the time) migrated to the United States. It wasn't long before they migrated yet again, this time to Puerto Rico. That's where my mother, Nancy, was born. She was actually the first of the family to be born there followed by my aunt Lourdes. Years later my aunt Cristi was born and completed their family of six.
Shortly after my grandparents settled into the island they still live in today, they built a business from the ground up along with several other family members. It's one that not only still stands tall but continues to grow as our family does the same. While back then many women took a back seat in life my grandmother took center stage...she did it all. She is a mother, wife, an intelligent and hard-working woman that played a big role in the family business.
In my eyes and heart, her greatest role played has been and continues to be a GRANDMOTHER. She is a proud grandma to six grandchildren, four girls and two boys. I was lucky to have spent just about every single day of the first four years of my life with her. We were neighbors while we lived on the island. Then my family and I moved to FL where I grew up. However, she did not allow distance to come between us. At a time when technology was no where as advanced as it is now, she was present throughout my entire childhood. Whether it was phone calls, packages, and flying back and forth on a plane to celebrate both the small and big moments in our lives...she was there.
When I learned that I was pregnant at 19 years old, she was not only there for me but for my baby on the way. While the news came as a shock to everyone, including myself, she knew I wanted and needed to be supported. My grandmother was the first person to call me after my mom delivered the news to the family. She actually spent a good portion of my pregnancy traveling back and forth to be by my side. I was blessed to have my grandmother celebrate my wedding day and at the birth of my daughter...her first great-grandchild. Many years later, when I had to be induced two weeks prior to my due date for my second child, she dropped everything and hopped on a plane with my mom to be by my side throughout my labor once again. She held my hand, wiped the sweat off my face, and comforted me any way that she could until it was time to deliver my son...her second great-grandchild.
I've always known that my grandmother has a special heart. I've seen her give her all to our family but what has made me love and respect my grandmother even more than I already did was witnessing how she took care of her mother, my great-grandmother, for years and years until the day she passed. At one point, she temporarily lived in Florida just to care for her mother 24/7. Her unconditional love for those she holds close to or in her heart is pure and solid. I'm honored to call her my grandmother and forever carry on a part of her in my mother, myself, and my children.
Today, we celebrate her life. 79 years to be exact! To a woman that inspires me to be myself while working to be a better version of myself, thank you for setting a positive example of a classy yet feisty lady. You are so special to me and my children. I hope to be blessed with your presence for many more years to come!
Happy Birthday, Abuela!
I love you so much!!!