My only surviving grandparent is gravely ill… When I was a child just moved to the United States, I would hear classmates talk about their grandparents taking them to the movies or other places of entertainment. I would hear little girls rave about the new dress their grandma got them, some would even get taken out of school early to spend a day of spoiled merriment. In my little girl’s heart, I wondered why I had been so unlucky. Why was I stuck with grandparents from the old country who didn’t understand a thing about spoiling their grandkids? Though when my abuelos visited they would make themselves available to tell me stories of the past, I resented that they couldn’t be more hip- just more American.
Thankfully with age comes maturity. My grandma is a very wise woman who has lived quite a full life. A life filled with her share of woes, but also with much happiness. This year I visited her in Michoacán and every day I would spend hours sitting with her in her garden of flowers. I got to hear stories of my past, stories that dated even before I was conceived and I got such a great sense of where I come from. She’s an extremely Catholic woman, who daily prays the rosary. When I was in Mexico, I was able to pray it with her. When she visited California, I would always make sure she got to Sunday Mass. I remember, one Sunday I took her to Mass with me and right after I had to stay for my RCIA class, so I decided that I would leave mass quickly to drive grandma home and make it to my meeting on time. As I was trying to rush, thinking I am going to be late, grandma stays put in the pew and says, “it’s never ok to leave Mass before the final blessing.” She has her priorities straight!
The more that I have gotten to know her, the more I realize that God gave me the best grandma. Every week my dad calls Mexico and she always makes sure to say, “I am praying for Penny for _______.” She might not give me material gifts, but she’s filled my life with constant prayer intentions presented to our Lord. Though her body is failing, her mind has always been sharp. I knew when I visited her earlier this year, that I was most likely seeing her for my last time, nevertheless I didn’t think her end would come so quickly. My parents are with her now and though we hope that God will allow us more time with her, we are also conforming to His will. She’s a strong woman who has truly added life to her years, a great example to follow and still the glue that keeps all of us together. May it be done according to His will.