Heartbreak

My grandmother was very young when she lost her first husband. The family legend says that she lay in bed for a whole week when he passed, and the eldest of her sons (my father), who was nine or 10 years old, lost his childhood in the blink of an eye. I have no further information about my grandfather, none whatsoever. It was a taboo subject, and my grandmother never mentioned his name again. NEVER. I think that when she lost her husband, my grandmother’s heart cracked in such a way that it could never mend again. The fact that she never mentioned my grandfather’s name kind of confirms that. Whenever she referred to him, she would call him “El Finado,” which literally means “the one that found its end.” The dictionary translates it as “dead.”

So, none of the six children my grandmother had (then) really overcame the death of my grandpa. My father cannot speak more than two sentences about him because the pain and loss overwhelms him, and his voice breaks and his eyes become watery. So no, no talking about EL FINADO.

My grandmother remarried very shortly after the loss of my grandfather, and her new husband Juan León was the only grandfather I ever knew and remember. He was a very darkskinned man, and I always remember him being at the entrance of my grandmothers house, looking at the horizon or in his garage, cleaning some piece of a motor or something. Grandpa Juan (as I used to call him) came to mend my grandma’s heart. She used to call him Gordo (fat).

Grandpa Juan was a weird person, but he was always sweet to me. I was his first granddaughter, and he was very patient with me. I grew up in their house because my parents were very young, and they worked all my life, so my grandparents raised me my Grandma Quina, my Grandpa Juan and my Grandma María.

Grandpa Juan LOVED to read, and he LOVED crossword puzzles. He also loved Coca-Cola and to have a smoke after lunch. I don’t think he ever had a steady job, but he would do one thing here and one thing there. He was always at home and was my Grandma’s companion. He did love to travel, though, and he joined a radio club called “Conejos Liberales.” With those friends, he would go up and down Mexico, and he would have long radio conversations with them when he was home. He was a very quiet person, and he loved my mom. They would always go and have a cigarette after lunch. He would give her honey candy. He would have one, too, and then they would smoke their cigarette together in the entrance of the house while looking at the horizon.

Grandma Quina was older than Grandpa Juan, and she always used to say she would die before him and ask him to take care of her children when she was gone. She had six from her first marriage and shared one with Grandpa Juan. They all got along pretty well, I think.

One day, Grandpa Juan went to the doctor for a checkup, and he never came back. The news of his death was a total shock for the entire family, especially for my grandmother. Her heart was absolutely shattered. The same thing that happened with Grandpa Felipe had repeated, and my Grandma had a meltdown. I think she had to be sedated, and she slept for days. I do remember, though, that when I finally saw her again, she had aged. She looked so old, so sad, so heartbroken. It was hard. It was extremely hard.

As time passed by, Grandma Quina started to get back to her normal life of cooking and keeping herself busy, but he light in her face was gone. She never actually recovered. A year passed by, and we met her for Christmas. She was sitting in a corner of my grandpa’s garage and solemnly said, “I miss my Gordo, dear family. I’ve done my best, but this is the last Christmas I’ll spend with you. I’m sorry.” We all pumped her up, telling her she had so much to live for, that we loved her, etc, etc. She had tears in her eyes but still managed a small, gentle smile. I felt for her.

On December 2 the following year, Grandma Quina had a stroke and died. She kept her promise and didn’t spend that Christmas with us. Even though the death certificate stated she died of complications due to her stroke, I knew she died of a broken heart.

I should confess something at this point. Grandma Quina was my favorite family member, and when she left, she broke my heart, too.

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Finding

I got a promotion and with it I had to move to Queretaro. I was living in a beautiful apartment in Mexico City just around Condesa, but when I got the promotion, I was ecstatic! I have always loved change, moving around and finding new places.

But shortly after I received news of the promotion, I met a guy, and our relationship became pretty serious in a matter of weeks.

The happy feeling of moving to Queretaro soon vanished because I didn’t want to spend a second away from this guy that had become so important so fast. I promised myself I would make it work, and every weekend for 4 months, I went back and forth to be with him. Until he broke up with me. I went back to Querétaro with a broken heart and no one to actually talk to about the situation. I was in this new place, living by myself and just crying my heart out. I felt lonely and sad, and all I wanted to do was leave this new place and go back to Mexico City and make the relationship work. I was devastated.

Every day I would drive myself to my office just to come back and fall down into that lonely abyss and cry myself to sleep every night. I was feeling so deeply alone.

A few days passed, and one morning I went down the stairs of my house to find a cat inside my living room. She didn’t move, meow, or get scared (God knows I sure did!). She gently and slowly walked towards me and then started rubbing herself on my leg. I leaned down to stroke her and ask her, Hey! How are you? What’s your name? I saw a collar but no name tag. She turned around and ran to the window and left just as silently and swiftly as she had when she entered the house. I remember smiling and taking a box of cereal back to my room. To my place of solitude.

Later that afternoon I called my mom and told her what happened, and she immediately said,DO NOT FEED IT MONO! It’s not your cat! You don’t know where it’s been or if it even has an owner or anything! If you feed it, it’ll always go to your house just for food, and well, you are going to be feeding a strangers cat! PLUS, YOU ARE SO ALLERGIC! DO NOT FEED IT MONO!

“OK, Mom! OK! I wont. Thanks for your input.

The next day, though, the cat was back in the house again. She explored a bit more, going all the way into the kitchen and now answered by meowing in reply to my random questions. It was very weird how she kept interrupting my solitude with her very mystic and majestic personality, as if saying, “Hey there! I’m just checking if you are still alive. OK, bye now!” And she left again.

The weekend was over, and I went back to work. When I returned home that evening, the cat was waiting for me ON MY BED! I was very surprised to see her there, but I was also quite happy to find someone to talk to. I didn’t feel so lonely. That day I discovered that “it” was a “she,” and I started calling her Gatita (Kitten).

A whole week passed, and Gatita kept getting into the house during the day and getting out during the night. I figured she was just going back home, but for the next week, she stayed over, and after that she never left. I never saw a sign asking for a lost kitten. I asked my neighbors, but they had never seen her before. So I started feeding her, and my mom went a little crazy (along with my allergies).

I TOLD YOU NOT TO FEED HER! Well, never mind, send me a picture or something. Is she pregnant?! OH GOD, MONO! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH BABY KITTENS?! I hope she doesn’t have fleas! Does she have a name? AAAAWWWW, YOU SHOULD CALL HER FELIX!!! TAKE HER TO THE VET! WHAT IF SHE HAS RABIES?!

OMG, Mom! Do you want me to keep her or not?! How can I call her FELIX if its a SHE?! You know what? I’m taking her to the vet. I’ll talk to you later.

The sadness that was instilled in me previously quickly disappeared with the thought of seeing with my cat every day. I never gave her a different name, and Gatita simply turned into Tita. She would sit next to me at night until she fell asleep and wake me up with little purrs in the morning. I started to feel better in no time. When I finally stopped thinking about my ex (whom I shall call Israel) he suddenly called me and asked me how I was and how was I feeling. Then I told him about the cat and how she had helped me with the sadness he caused me after we broke up. He was so excited about the cat and very sorry about what happened. He confessed he missed me and said a million other things, and eventually we got back together. Later on, he moved to Queretaro, and Tita was only the first of three cats we ended up taking in. Each of them found us exactly when we needed it, in magical and unexpected ways.

Israel and I decided we were going to move abroad, the 12,500-kilometer trip was a big deal. The first thing we knew was going to be difficult was moving away with three cats. There was never an argument about not taking them. NEVER. We knew they were coming with us, and that was it.

When we made the decision to move, we took the cats to the vet, and started the research for the trip. But then something happened. Tita started to leave the house and not come back during the night. Our cats were always free to go out and about if they wanted, but they always came back home for the night. Tita left for three nights straight, and we almost lost our minds. A neighbor told us she had taken care of Tita the same way I was now until Tita found me. Tita would go to the neighbor’s apartment for a few hours then leave. She began leaving for longer periods of time and then entire nights.

We realized right then and there that Tita had made the decision to not move with us, and Israel was very sad about this. We had actually learned a few days before that we could only take two cats with us, and we were thinking about paying someone to take one of the cats, or send it by courier or something. We never argued about this inside the house, but Tita just knew, and she made the decision for us. I also realized right then why Tita had found me when I was so sad and lonely and why it was time for her to move on now – exactly the same way I had needed to move on to the next chapter of my life.

It was time for Israel to leave and get all our things ready for our arrival to that foreign country. The day he was supposed to leave, no one could find Tita, not even our neighbor. A week had passed since we last saw her and we were afraid she was dead, sick, or something bad had happened to her. I remember feeling a huge hole in my stomach.

We needed to go to Mexico City to catch a plane, and Israel was crying his eyes out. He couldn’t believe that after three years, he couldn’t even say goodbye to his furry baby. We closed the house doors, walked to the car, and called Tita with treats, food, and jam all the tricks in the book but nothing. Fifteen minutes passed, and we just started to drive away. I remember feeling so sad and lost. I also felt a little guilty, Israel was leaving before me and the rest of the kittens to get us an apartment and maybe a job, so that meant that I could go back home and see her again, but Israel would never have the chance to do so. We drove away.

I don’t even know how he noticed, but Israel suddenly stopped the car, opened the door, and ran back to the house. There Tita was, standing in our parking space! Israel grabbed her, kissed her, and we both cried as we said goodbye to our baby girl. It was one of the most sad yet magical moments I had ever experienced, and I was also so grateful that she was there to say goodbye.

The cat that had found me, that showed Israel and me a different way to love, was saying goodbye to us and letting us go. She was moving on and so were we.

I never saw her again. To this day I can’t believe the way she found me and showed me the path to find myself, as well as teaching me how difficult and extremely sad it can be to say goodbye. But sometimes you just have to move on and carry on.

Tita

What I miss about you…

I had a dream last night. As it always happens (at least in my dreams) some parts are kinda blurry and I’m not sure that the characters are quite defined. I do remember that 2 of my greatest loves where part of that dream. With one of them I talked, and I recall the feeling of being heard with attention bounded to love.

I don’t even know how to describe this, but it kinda feels like when you love someone, and you are listening to whatever they have to say and you hope deep in your heart that they are happy and wish them the best, just because you love them. In this particular case it felt like that but it had a hint of romance in it, and a desire that only comes from passion.

I miss that.

With the other guy, we didn’t actually talked that much during the dream. We sort of had an interaction with another person but the feeling I had was of great caring, he only wanted me to find what I was looking for. He hugged me in the way you hug a person that you love. I could smell his clothes, and it was so real that it made me wake up.

I miss that too.

I certainly loved this guys in a moment of time, and I don’t miss them, not in the romantic way that you might expect after all the time spent together, I did woke up yearning the way it felt to be loved like that by another person. I have found myself in this knowledge trip, that has made me realize that self love is very important, and I feel the love that I pour into myself everyday, and the one that my friends and family also feel for me, but after been almost 3 years single (without counting the mingle) I realized just now, that I really miss been loved that way.  And that that’s ok.

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Historia de un padre

Me dejó de dar envidia ver a mis amigas y miembros de mi familia disfrutando de una relación amorosa con sus padres. Recibir besos y un TE QUIERO o TE AMO HIJA nunca formó parte de la comunicación que mi papá y yo tuvimos y ahora entiendo o por lo menos trato de entender de manera amorosa por qué mi papá es así conmigo.

Yo fui producto de una relación amorosa muy inesperada, mis padres no estaban casados y la historia de como unieron sus vidas entre amenazas y malos tratos por parte del papá de mi mamá me hacen entender que tal vez mi papá vivió mi nacimiento con un poco de miedo y cautela.

No supe hasta hace poco, de verdad muy poco que mi papá no quería tener hijos, de entrada y luego supe que el motivo por el cual se separaron por una temporada cuando yo tenía nueve años y hasta pasaditos los 10 fue justamente porque mi mamá insistió en tener otro hijo, cosa a la que mi papá se negó tan rotundamente y resultó en una separación bastante complicada en la que fui moneda de cambio… pero esa es otra historia.

Tengo pocos recuerdos de convivencia con mi papá y en general todos ellos son compartiendo todas esas pasiones que forjaron las mías eventualmente. El deporte, los viajes, el conocimiento. Creo que cuando uno es joven lo único que quiere es la aprobación y respeto de sus padres y la manera en la que yo lo intenté conseguir fue copiando todas las pasiones que mi padre tenía, la lectura, la música, los deportes y viajar. Todo ello me hizo un poco masculina, ligeramente marimacha y bastante aventurera y justo cuando estaba agarrando carrera fue cuando mis papás se separaron y las cosas cambiaron mucho.

Cuando mis papás por fin se reconciliaron ya esperaban otro hijo y es curiosísimo, luego de sentarme y analizarlo y de horas de trabajo psicológico entiendo que mi papá por fin tuvo el hijo que no había tenido y toda atención que tuve de su parte simplemente se esfumó y se fue para su hijo. Nota, no es reclamo, simplemente fue algo que pasó y ya.

Alguna vez hablé con mi papá de ello y me dijo que sí, que sí sabía que había tomado esa actitud, que sí había hecho eso pero que no encontraba la manera de volver a retomar su afecto como padre hacia mi. Me da pena, digo, yo he tenido un camino pavimentado de una enorme cantidad de figuras paternas, que sí me dijeron al crecer lo mucho que me querían, lo mucho que me amaban y con mi papá pues simplemente lo tomé como a un amigo, alguien con quien comparto muchísimos gustos, alguien con quien platico de esas cosas que nadie en mi familia adoptó por no tener esa necesidad de aceptación y que agradezco.

Agradezco por supuesto la dureza de su trato porque me hizo fuerte, su necedad en hacerme ver toda película y caricatura en inglés porque de otra manera no hubiera desarrollado esa habilidad. Su lejanía para poder compensar con cercanía con los demás su discreción y su ética de trabajo, su pasión por el baile y su finísimo gusto musical. Su pasión por viajar y conocer, por investigar y por saber.

No hay tiempo como el ahora para agradecer y por eso en este día papá quería dejarte por escrito todas estas cosas que me han hecho lo que soy. Gracias por ser mi padre en esta vida. Que vivas muchos años más en felicidad y en salud.

FELIZ DÍA DEL PADRE!

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Buen Viaje Pepetón

-Sí verdad hija?-

Fue una de las últimas palabras que me dijiste, habías tenido tu accidente unos años antes y con mucho trabajo al hablar me dijiste eso cuando bromeaba a cerca de tu “equipazo” como tú solías describirlo, el Atlante y yo te decía, qué onda con tu equipo maletón tío?

Verte, en una silla de ruedas, tan delgado, tan distinto me quebró, giré sobre mis talones y salí de ahí porque no pude contener las lágrimas, Muti se me acercó y me llamó la atención, mi tío seguía vivo y de nada le servía verme mal. Ciertamente de nada sirve sentirme mal, prefiero hoy, que dejaste tu cuerpo físico, recordarte como siempre, atacado de risa, con tu pants con zapatos de vestir, era lo que más te criticaba mi papá, tu pants del Atlante y tus zapatos de vestir.

Amaba tu casa, tus colecciones me parecían la cosa más fascinante del mundo, tenías un botellón de agua repleto de cajetillas de cerillos, y una habitación COMPLETA sólo para guardar tu colección de vinilos, siempre fuiste melómano, creo que jamás conocí a una persona que amara tantísimo la música como tú. Eras tan malo bailando a comparación del resto de la familia, pero eras tan simpático, recuerdo que siempre empezabas a hacer un striptease frente a mi tía, empezabas a des-fajarte mientras decías la frase con la que siempre te voy a recordar “te juro que eres la única” mientras todos soltábamos carcajadas al unísono, mi tía se tapaba la cara botada de risa y te daba de manazos mientras tú seguías bailando. Levantabas tu camisa y luego girabas y decías “aaaah, ya, ya” tomabas tu cara entre tus manos y reías a carcajadas.

Así prefiero recordarte, empecinado por ponerte a tu hijo el nombre más raro del mundo porque admirabas a Eumir Deodato y así se tenía que llamar el niño, y así se llamó.

Ese cuerpo que te falló un día, pero que también no trataste nada bien hoy se desprende de tu mente, pero tu recuerdo aquí se queda con nosotros hasta que te alcancemos. Te voy a extrañar tío, te quiero, descansa, ya es tiempo.

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