I woke up this morning thirty minutes later than usual. On days where the Hubbs heads into Boston for work that means there is no time to lay in bed and say my prayers before heading out for my morning walk. Today I had to shoot out of bed and lace up my need to be replaced sneakers and hit the road with just a quick thank you for this day prayer.
Not being able to process this morning worked in my favor. Only a few blocks from my house I had to turn off my audio book, which I wasn’t paying attention to and listen to myself.
Whenever I get a writing idea I feel a thud in my stomach. I feel everything in my stomach, which is ironic. My thoughts landed on my Grandmother, and how much I channel her every day.
My Grandmother came to America with seven children. Seven children whom she birthed in her home, which had no running water or electricity. SEVEN CHILDREN.S.E.V.E.N.
I channel her every time my privileged , central air having ass feels like having children is just too much. When I think the burden is just to heavy. I imagine this woman pregnant for seven years straight living in poverty I cannot even imagine.
The most admirable thing about my Grandmother is she is sober and kind.
She has lived this incredibly burdensome life and in her eighties has nothing resentful or bitter to say about it. She lost her first born son before his fortieth birthday. She lost her husband in 1999. No matter how sad the story may be when she tells it she always shrugs and says in broken English “I don’t know.”
I admire her Faith in the world. In her God. She has found a way to make all the heartache, tragedy, and hardship part of the plan. I try to copy her steadfast way of life.
Head up, keep going, believe in the plan.
For many years after my Grandfather passed away, I was too selfish to go in the home that my family was raised in. Going to the bathroom would send waves of sadness over me so strong I would break into tears. A decade later and I was still hoping he would come around the corner, walk into the kitchen and yell at someone. I missed him in the most self-centered of ways.
I still cry every time I go in the bathroom. Even if it is just one solitary tear that escapes me. Not so much because I am sad anymore, but because sometimes memories fall out of us as tears.
I was not close to my Grandmother growing up.We would pick her up from work . A combination of various cousins picked up from school. We would be bobbing around in the back seat, because in the 1980’s seatbelts were not a thing. Then we would get back to the house, and she would yell at my Pae for feeding me cape cod chips, beefaroni and Sara Lee pound cake in one sitting.
On the rare occasions I would be at my Grandparents house later than 5pm I was privy to her bringing out her Virgin Mary statue and holy candle. She would set them down on the round wooden table and do her prayers. There was never any fluff with her. She just did things. Not for anyone else’s eyes. She did things because that was the way she had found to live her life.
I made my way back to my Grandparents house fully this year. I can’t say what clicked in my head about going back. I like to think it is my Grandfather whose spirit seems to be riding shotgun for me as a guide. I felt a need to get my babies in that house, and show them what it was like to grow up as a Rodrigues.
Every week we head over for just an hour. My Grandmother feeds my babies coco puffs out of bowls that have straws attached so no artificially flavored chocolate milk is wasted. We sit in the room with velvet yellow and orange sofas watching American Ninja Warrior, or Deal or No Deal depending on the day.
The same room we had every Christmas Eve before my Grandfather got to sick to host. Every time I sit down in there I remember the Christmas I got my Hulk Hogan Pillow Buddy. Cramped in that small room with the hoard of my cousins, and Aunts and Uncles. She tells me stories of the old country and old stories of the new country. Sometimes she throws in a little gossip and loves to talk about politics.
My kids run around the back yard, and through the house. My Grandmother wiping at my childrens snotty noses fiercely as they come around the corner,and I swear I can hear the house say thank you.
My Woman Crush Wednesday is certainly my Mae. Who has helped me be a more grateful, kind and strong woman without even knowing it. I am honored to be her Granddaughter.