Remember Your Strength


Life always finds a way to test you.  Sometimes an opportunity presents itself to you.  If you don’t give it your all, then that opportunity will disappear and you’ll never see it again.  Sometimes your character is determined.  Will you or will you not help your friend in need?  Are you generous and giving or selfish and unreliable?  But sometimes your strength is what’s tested.  How far can this person be pushed?  When will they break?  Will they break at all?

Right now, my grandfather on my mother’s side finds himself in a hospital after suffering from two heart attacks and undergoing major surgery within the span of about a week.  At the same time, my grandfather on my father’s side finds himself in an intensive care unit after his battle with cancer forced him into surgery.  Both of them are currently categorized as stable, but how loosely is the term being used when they’re health was so fragile to begin with and when they can easily fall into life threatening complications?

There are presently several individuals whose strength is being tested. 

My grandfathers must prove their will to live.  Can their family and unfulfilled desires be enough to give them what they need to get well?  Can they find the strength to move past these complications to see their grandchildren marry?

My parents must be strong for their families.  My dad can’t show he’s worried when his mother is watching the only love of her life fight for his health.  He can’t tell me and my siblings that there is any possibility of my grandfather’s death, no matter how minute that possibility is.  My mom has to be strong enough so that her aunts won’t crumble under their fears.  She can’t be negative and assume the worst. 

Myself and my siblings have to demonstrate our strength for our parents.  We can’t burst into tears and admit that yes we’re worried because then who will comfort our parents?  It doesn’t matter if we spent every birthday or no birthdays with our grandfathers.  We can’t think about the negative comments or the lack of comments that hurt us because they’re irrelevant now.  The point is that their blood is our blood and they have always loved us.  The point is that they are still our grandfathers and my parents’ fathers.  The point is that our parents are hurting no matter what they show us.  We must be strong for our parents and for our grandparents.

But, then again, we all have to be strong enough to accept the fragility of life.  Whether it is minutes aways or years away, absence is always a possibility.  During the moments you have, make sure to forgive those who have wronged you.  Accept the good acts that people have shown you.  Be positive and spread love.  Be strong because you have the power to.

This was a status on Facebook that one of my cousins posted.  She was referring to my grandfather’s situation and it was very touching to say the least.  She reminded me that we are strong and that we can move forward.  I wish the best for my grandfathers and I am grateful for all of the times I have spent with them.  Although not all moments were perfect, they are still irreplacable.  To my family, thank you for all of your support and I’m sure we will all make it through this.  Abuelo Papo and Abuelo Tongo are strong men and they have the strength within them.  You are all in my thoughts right now and I can’t wait to write a post about their recoveries.  Bianca, thank you for reminding us of our strength.  I love you all.


About Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and am a 2016 VONA Voices Alumna. I currently perform spoken-word in the greater Washington D.C. area and have previously performed in Philadelphia, Miami, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, I have been published in Public Pool, Spillwords, and The Acentos Review, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue.

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