The Trip

April 19, 2018
By , Philadelphia, PA

My grandmother was my most beloved person.  I’d loved seeing her wrinkly, beige skin and her reassuring smile. When I was a child i’d always be eager to see my grandmother; the times when I did get to see her, i’d be full with nothing other than excitement and the times when I didn’t, I was a little brat. She was the type of person who always encouraged me to do better for myself and prayed for me to be good. Because if i’m being honest I was a little rascal. In my defense I didn’t choose to be a cheeky kid who caused trouble, I just was. But back to what I was saying, my grandmother and her gold heart always touched me, even when I didn’t want it to.

 

Although it didn’t show, I was always grateful my grandmother lived right next door to me and that we could visit her as many times as we’d please to.
    

Wensly, the cracked narrow street with little kids crawling all over it; boy were we ants.


This was the street where going to my grandmother’s home, playing “Ring Around The Rosy”, and getting deadly bruises were part of my everyday life. Most of my childhood memories were made there and let me tell you they were a jubilant mess of memories. What I loved most was when everyone gather at my grandma’s and ate arroz con habichuela (rice with beans) . Everyone used to scatter around the house. The tios with the tios, the tias with the tias, abuelas with abuelos, and the primas with the primos. To the people who only speak english, that was confusing wasn’t it? Well basically, tio means uncle, tia means aunt, abuela means grandma, abuelo means grandpa, prima means girl cousin and primo means boy cousin. In my family when it comes to 2nd aunt or 3rd cousin, we just call them regular old tia or prima, I think most hispanics do that, but I could be wrong. That block was my heart because of my grandmother, my mother, my father, my brother and the rest of my family who always gathered with us. Although, some of the worst days of my life were right ahead of me: the day i moved and the day my grandma left us.
    

In 2012 my grandma went to Dominican Republic with my uncle, Tio Alberto, or as I used to all him Tio and my name for my grandma used to be Mama. Before they left I didn’t recall knowing about them going nor did I hear anyone speak upon upon the matter. The day that they left, I was on my way home from being picked up by my mom from school. When we got home, my mom grinned at me while asking me, “Como te fue hoy mi hija?” She politely asked me about my day. With my day going fine in school and her small understanding in english , I simply replied, “Good.” After I took my bookbag, shoes and jacket off, my mom called me over. I skipped over to her all jolly like. When I got to her, I felt two arms tightly wrapped around me like a rope knot being tied. As I hug her back as tightly as I can, I shockingly hear “Mama se fue para República Dominicana con Tio Alberto/Grandma went to Dominican Republic with Uncle Alberto.” Hearing those words left me completely and utterly devastated.  I was a 9 year old, who had a cloud of questions growing in her mind. All i could think of was “Why did they leave me? Should I stop them? I can’t stop them if they already left. Why would they do this to me? Is she sick? Is mama not well… she must be because that’s the only reason she would have to leave. Right? I have to be right!” At this rate I felt my head ready to explode. I didn’t know what to do, but I still acknowledged the fact that I couldn’t do much; in realizing that, all I did was cry. I cried and cried and cried until there were no more tears to be shed. All day and all night I cried. When I was in school I acted as my usual self, I didn’t show how I really felt because no one needed to know. A couple days went by as I isolated myself from everybody else without them noticing. I didn’t know what to do, so isolate myself was all I thought of. I did this until I got a wake up call.
    

It was a Saturday, opening my crusty-shut eyes, I got out of bed and walked into the bathroom like a zombie looking for some brains to eat. Looking into the mirror, I saw my red-bagged eyes, you could tell I cried all night up to the point where I got no sleep. I continued my routine by brushing my teeth and decided to take a shower. Somehow I ended up back in bed under my covers. Surprising, aint it? Rolling and tumbling to find a comfortable position is always a pain, but when I finally found a suitable position, I find someone pounding at my door with what sounded like all the force they had. The next second all I hear in a deep and disturbed voice is “ Yo! Wake up, mom is yelling saying you have a call.” Realizing it’s my brother, Erick, I quickly looked at the clock and it reads 9:15 A.M. I quietly snickered noticing that the disturbance in my brother’s voice was because of the time he had woken up. Usually my brother wakes up around 1 P.M-2 P.M , so I would imagine that my mom’s yelling probably woke him up. While I walk to the door, I responded “ I’m coming, i’m coming.” As I walk down the steps, holding up the hump on my back, I calmly recalled that this was my first time laughing in a while since my grandmother left. When I reached the bottom of the steps I greeted my mom and dad a good morning. As my mother and father greet me back, my mom hands me the phone with a suspicious smirk on her face. While being weirded out, I pick up the phone, saying “Yellow.” I hear “Jade, mi nina?”, this voice was the one who left me crying, the one who cradled me, the soft and gentle voice i’d knew well. I felt the comforting warmth of the voice. It was my Mama. My abuela. My beloved. My grandma. The one I missed so dearly, but didn’t say I did. 

 

Although, I couldn’t see her, she was still really close to me in my heart, she just wasn’t close physically. We talked on the phone for hours talking about why she left, if it was my fault, does she miss me, will she come back or not and why didn’t she contact me sooner etc.. Well, she explained everything to me and she was very cautious about what she said and how she said it; I think she knew I was fragile because she was cautious and she didn’t pry either. I was glad because I thought my grandma was gone and I would never see her again and if that was true it sucked. It sucked because I didn’t appreciate as much as I should’ve, I didn’t show her the gratitude I felt for her and thanked as much as she deserved to be thanked. I did love her though and I always will. Most people don’t know what they have until they lose it. Some fail to realize that so no matter how much a pain someone can be bear with them because if you don’t, you’re going to regret it in the long run.






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