Dear Abuelo Colo,
Today has been one of the hardest days I have gone through. Its your birthday, but I can’t call you to tell you “Happy Birthday”. I can’t hear your voice over the phone thanking me for the chocolates you received. My cousin isn’t able to bring you a cake, and my aunt can’t make you coffee. Its all these things that I can’t do for you today that makes me sad. You passed away last summer (August 4th, 2013). Its now January, and I still miss you like crazy. I will never forget all the life lessons you have given me. How to care for animals, use the resources I have to create something new, find music in any little thing, be artistic,and to always keep walking until you find something great. I guess when you had your leg amputated you couldn’t take the fact that you wouldn’t be able to walk anymore. I understand that. It was hard for me to accept it too, but its a lot harder for me to accept that you are gone. You won’t be waiting for me and my family on your front porch anymore in your little wooden house in Puerto Rico. I know your dog Molina is still waiting for you to come back to her, and she will wait forever. Your neighbors miss you so much. We get phone calls from them almost every weekend and they will tell us a story of how you helped them. Your musician friends haven’t felt complete anymore since you passed away. They almost gave up playing until my mom and I convinced them that you wouldn’t have wanted that. Music was a big part of your life, and its still a big part of mine. I wish you could have met my boyfriend. I know you would have really liked him. Alondra misses you too. She still knocks down fruit from trees with a big stick like you taught her when she was 2 years old. For a tiny girl, you always knew what to do to make her feel like she made big accomplishments. There are some things in life that can’t be explained, like why you had to go. I have to keep my head up and know that you are in a better place looking out for me. Mom cried for you today, and I had my own breakdown this morning. Your harmonica is still in its case waiting to be played again. I look at it and think to myself “why did you have to go?” There will never be enough words to explain how much I miss you, so all I can say for now is Happy 86 Birthday Abuelito. Te Quiero Mucho!
Love you forever,
(Photos by: Virginia Nieves, Elena Morales, and Me)