HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA CHICHI
If I could sit in her kitchen today in the Linda Vista Finca in Arraijan in Panama, the conversation would be much different. 29 years have passed since her death.
What about the world today, what is new and different, what is the same ? What would I want her to know ? What would she be curious about ?
Over a cup of coffee the conversation would be long and informal, she an attentive listener. I would expect her thoughtful questions.
Her hands would move slight and delicate as she lifted the cup from the saucer to enjoy her coffee. I would feel her calm, her wisdom, the maternal safety that was always palpable in her presence.
She would want to know about all of us, her 2 sons, Papi and Dick, all the grandchildren: lives, loves, careers, travel. She would ask about Beatriz, her sister.
I would be certain to tell her that her love has filled my life everyday with hope, with light, with possibility.
I would make sure she knew that coconut rice is still my all time favorite food and that because of her, I love to swim and I always get the airport way ahead of my departure time.
I would thank her over and over for how much she loved my DAD and for how much my DAD was like her.
I would especially thank her for how much she loved my MOM and made her feel welcomed in Panama.
I would hold her hand. I would kiss her forehead.
I would show her the medal.
For 41 years it's been close to my heart, the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus, the Virgin de Perpetuo Socorro. The medal she bought for me in 1975 in Mexico City, the summer after my Mother died.
The sentiment, the emotions, at this point there would be no words. The magnitude of gratitude in my heart for her, no words could ever describe or contain.
The warmth of a Panama morning would be felt in our hearts.