My parents got divorced when I was just nine years old. I stayed close to my mom’s side of the family growing up, but my father’s side was a different story. We lost touch, which was very unfortunate. The last memory I had of my grandmother was when I was just five years old. I remember her coming to visit us in Miami, she lived in California at the time. I also remember a pair of hand knitted pink crochet socks she made for me. I was the happiest little girl with those pink socks.
Fast forward 24 years later, there I was reunited with my grandmother. My cousin (who I had reconnected two years ago through Facebook) had invited me to her daughter’s high school graduation party. Somehow, now at 90 years old, my grandmother looked exactly as I had remembered her. It’s as though time hadn’t passed by. Now at 29 years old and with a family of my own, she was also meeting my 5 month-old son—her great grandson for the first time.
“How long has it been,” she asked me. “24 years Abuelita-24 long years,” I replied. Her eyes got watery and we gave each other a huge hug. I wanted to ask her so many questions, I didn’t know where to start. Remarkably she exhibited my dad’s mannerisms. She would rub her hands in a circle as she talked, similar to how my dad often did. We talked as if not one day had gone by from that five year old little girl in love with her pink crochet socks.
Not only was I meeting my grandmother for the first time in 24 years that day, I was also reunited with cousins I had never met before. Being surrounded by MY family was such an amazing, warm feeling. As I looked around the room, I saw a bit of myself in everyone–from our tan olive skin, to the shapes of our nose, to our dark black hair.
It’s such a beautiful gift that God gives us with family, I thought to myself. Even though I really didn’t know my grandmother, I felt so much love for her. Most importantly, I’m happy to one day tell my son he got to meet his great grandmother.