Reflections written and shared by Maria G. Hessie
I would like to talk about one of my experiences with my grandmother. This beautiful experience happened a long time ago….
When I was very young my mom told the family that it was time to visit my grandma. I didn’t remember too much about her because I was very young when we moved to the city. And it was a long time ago. The plan sounded so thrilling, not just because of the trip, but because I was going to see my grandma again.
My grandma was still living in the same place where my siblings and I grew up. It is a typical rural town in the state of Durango, Mexico.
The idea of visiting my grandma was so exciting that I couldn’t sleep. I packed all my belongings two weeks before our departure, I didn’t want to forget anything for this adventurous trip to my grandma’s house.
Finally the time to travel arrived. We took the bus, and it took us approximately 10 hours to get to her town. It was so rustic that she didn’t have a telephone, so we couldn’t call ahead of time to let her know about our visit, consequently it was going to be a big surprise. However, in our family’s customs, we do not need to be invited. Even if we visited without any notice we were always wanted. When we arrived at her house, wow!!! Nobody was in there to open the house for us. I confess now that I was a little bit disappointed, but my mom told us: “don’t worry, I know where to find su abuela.” So, we walked a very short distance, and there she was… still working in her little diner. When she saw her daughter with four of her grandchildren, my two brothers, my sister and I, she was amazed, she couldn’t believe it, her pretty hazel eyes were wide open, her beautiful smile, her kisses and embraces made us feel very welcome, then her eyes got full of tears…. Until then, I hadn’t understood that we can also cry when we are happy. I learned that those tears were because she was happy to see us again. There is no more wonderful love than the grandmother’s love.
It was a great experience to see my grandma again, she looked like a scene taken out of a fairy tale, although her skin looked a little bit different, her hair was gray but her eyes were still so beautiful. She was so proud of her daughter that she introduced us to her clientele and told them that she was sorry but needed to close because she wanted to be with us. I couldn’t believe it, my grandma closing her only financial resource, and she was planning to close it just for us??? “Oh No!!” My mom said, “You can’t do that mom, we can wait for you at home.” My grandma responded, “You will eat here at the diner and I do not want any interruptions, you are my family and family is first.” I learned right there in that moment how important her family was to her. I also understood that my mom had raised us the same way. I understood that FAMILY IS FIRST. “Yay!!” I said.
We had the most delicious meal ever. After a few hours, my grandma closed her diner and we went to her house, I was amazed the way her house was built, it was simple but cozy. It was very nice to be in my granny’s house again.
At the sunset, my mom and granny went to rest, and they were talking until they fell asleep. It was a long day for everyone, but it wasn’t an early bedtime for the youngest. We stayed awake. My uncle, my aunt and her little young boy (my cousin) were living with my grandma, so, that night we had a lot of fun. My uncle and aunt set up a bonfire and all of us were sitting around it. I had never been around a bonfire, not in the city of course. My aunt was telling us a lot of kind of stories, but the most fascinating were the stories about ghosts. We were all scared, but we loved them. One of the funniest moments was when she was talking and suddenly little frogs were jumping very close to us, we didn’t see them before and we got very scared because we thought they were ghosts. My aunt was amused when she saw us very scared. She thought it was very funny. The nicest thing about the little frogs was that nobody hurt them, it seemed that they knew that they were part of the family. It was almost midnight when my mom woke up and called us to go to bed…Oh No!!! We didn’t want this beautiful moment to end, but we had to do what my mom said.
The following morning, our uncle woke us up very early in the morning, before the sunrise. He wanted us to go with him in his big truck to dispense sodas to the little stores around town. When we were riding in my uncle’s truck it was still dark, and little by little the sunrise showed up, the cool breeze on our faces was a very nice experience. That was one of the most beautiful mornings I have ever had. Although my uncle was very serious and didn’t like to talk too much, he made us feel very important taking us with him. The trip to dispense sodas took us at least 3 hours, when we came back, my granny and mom had the breakfast ready and waiting for us to eat together.
After we finished eating breakfast, my grandma asked us to help her at her diner. I was so happy to help my grandma in her business that I wanted to stay with her forever and help her.
I was observing my grandma for a moment, when she was serving food to her customers, and I perceived how generous she was. For instance, an old man came to eat at her diner, and he said to her that he didn’t have money to pay for his meal, but he was very hungry. My grandma fed him for free. Although my grandma was a strict old woman, she had a very good heart.
The summer of 1969 was the most beautiful vacation ever, because I could visit and spend time with mi abuela. During this short visit to my grandma’s I learned a lot: how important family is, that we can cry even if we are happy, and the importance of generosity. I understood my mom more, and I enjoyed the simplest things of life.
My grandma is gone now, but because of all the beautiful moments that I lived with her and all the good memories that she left us, it is like she is still with us.