Dedicated to Mami, my mother’s mother, and her mother’s mother:
I can hear her humming in a distant room.
She sings songs of her childhood
that were from her mother’s time
and the time of her mother’s mother.
No slowing down.
Just the rummaging of what she’s getting done
and the sounds of her voice.
A few sighs here and there may be heard,
but never a malicious word.
She goes about her business,
finishing every chore with perfection,
while lightening the load of those around her.
Her humming is soothing like a lullaby,
but with a melody that keeps her going.
It takes me home to my island.
It takes me home to my childhood.
It is the humming I love most.
The humming of my mother,
my mother’s mother,
and her mother’s mother.
People constantly tell me that they are jealous of the relationship I have with my brother. We are extremely close, we get along better than most siblings, and we act as if we’re twins, even though we’re three years apart. When people point this out, I can’t deny it, but the truth is my brother and I have been solidifying this relationship for YEARS, so I think, after all of our hard work, we deserve a good relationship.
When times got hard, rather than separating and growing apart, we stayed close together, becoming each other’s support system and we fed off each other’s strength. This was how we managed to progress and develop our individual peace, balance, and success, despite whatever madness was going on. Over the years, my brother has become my best friend, my business partner, and my mentor, among other roles he plays in my life and I honestly could not have created a better big brother… Well, maybe he could be less stubborn, but I guess nobody’s perfect. Either way, I literally cannot imagine my life without him and I feel honored to share so many journeys with him.
Today is my brother’s 25th birthday and, although he has accomplished so many things already, I know there is so much more he’ll achieve in the next chapter of his life. Happy Birthday Junior!
Today is the day the world was blessed with the birth of my dad. He is an interesting mix of being the smartest person I know along with one of the most taboo and outrageous personalities I’ve ever encountered. Simply put, he is truly one of a kind. At first, it was hard seeing the similarities between me and my dad, but the resemblance has become more apparent over the years. Besides my book smarts, I mainly attribute my dad as the reason why there are times where I have no filter, but, over those characteristics, I thank my dad for the position I’m in now. I know that, without many of the sacrifices and decisions my dad made in the past, my present would be a completely different scenario. I’ve learned things happen for a reason and, if one thing is for sure, my dad is a person I can count on for almost anything, no matter the situation. Not many people can say that about anybody, especially their dads. So, on his birthday, I want to celebrate the beautiful bond we’ve developed and how proud I am to call him my dad.
Happy Birthday Pa!
This past weekend, my sister celebrated another birthday, which is closing a memorable year to welcome in an even bigger year. During the past year, my older sister has become a homeowner and, by this time next year, she’ll be a wife. Later this week, we’ll even be picking out her wedding dress. Who knows maybe after her next birthday she’ll be preparing to be a first time mommy?! In her mind, that’s a no, but why not throw it out into the air? Either way, it was nice spending the day with her and I’m glad she enjoyed her special day. I know this is the start to a wonderful year and I wish her nothing but the best.
I want to take today to celebrate my second mother, my lovely Titi, my Becky! Today is her birthday and I wish her nothing but infinite happiness and blessings. She is an exemplar woman and human being. Some people may think she’s feisty, which she is, but she also has a heart of gold. When this woman loves you, consider yourself lucky because she loves hard. She will do whatever she can to make sure that her loved ones know how special they are and she will do anything to make them happy. Honestly, I appreciate and love my Titi Becky more than she will probably ever know. It meant the world to me for her to go to Puerto Rico for my Sweet 15 and to say the toast. She went out of her way for me again when I graduated high school and she flew from Texas to Maryland at one o’clock in the morning to see me walk across that stage. It was only right for me to try to pay her back by making a trip to Puerto Rico this past April to see her marry the love of her life and a man who has unconditionally become part of our family. But she one up’d me again when she gave me the pleasure of being her Maid of Honor, something that I will always treasure.
I value these things she’s done for me and everything else she’s done for me because she is such an important person in my life. I’ve witnessed many of the hardships she’s gone through, yet she has never given up at life. She just keeps pushing forward and keeps moving up. Like I said before, she is an exemplar woman and I assure she is the type of person I strive to be. I genuinely appreciate the close bond I have with her and I hope she gets to celebrate her day in the way that she deserves to be celebrated.
Happy Birthday Mami Becky! I love you!
Whenever someone new steps into your life, it’s customary to be wary and a bit suspicious of that person, especially if you didn’t choose for that person to be a part of your life. You don’t know the person and, although you don’t want to judge the newcomer, you still wonder if they can be trusted, what their intentions are, and if they actually are good people. Eventually, they’ll start to show their true colors and either your worries will not have been in vain or you never had anything to worry about in the first place. It just depends on the person and the circumstances.
Jose, at one point, was a stranger, a new member to my life, and, in all honesty, I didn’t like him. I didn’t think he was right for my sister and I even refused to serve him the food that I cooked. However, I can truthfully say that today, a few years later, I gladly say Jose is part of my family. Throughout the past few years, he has proven to me that he’s a good person and he’s done a good job of spreading the joy and love that he has in his heart. All in all, he’s secured a spot in my family whether he likes it or not! I don’t regret being wary of him at first, but I certainly don’t regret accepting him into my life either. He is the best brother-in-law I could ask for because of many different reasons, but especially because he is perfect for my sister. I don’t think I could think of another man who could make my sister as happy and fulfilled, which is the main reason why he’s won over my love as well. So, today, your birthday, I wish you nothing but endless love and happiness.
Happy Birthday Jose!
Because today is Father’s Day, I would like to give a special shout out to all of the wonderful daddies out there. The ones who provide for their children, love their children, and find the time to share special moments with their children. Although I’m in no rush to have kids, I’m looking forward to seeing my future hubby be one of the best fathers ever. There’s nothing like a mother’s love, but I don’t think dads get enough appreciation out there. After all, none of us would be here without our fathers, no matter how long they were around. Personally, I absolutely love my pops and I appreciate everything he does for me and my siblings. This year, I get to have my dad all to myself and, despite all of the jokes we’ve shared with each other, he knows that father daughter time is priceless. I know that not everyone is lucky enough to have their dads around and, against the odds, my dad is still a very big part of my life, so I’m going to soak in every bit of this trip and cherish it. I love seeing how similar we are, how similar he is to my mom, and new things I’ve never realized before. So Pa be ready for our father daughter day! Happy Father’s Day!