I cried at Bank of America yesterday.
I was standing in line and an old Mexican lady were there with her daughter and grandson. The daughter was there to help her aging mother. The old lady reminded me so much of my Nana. From her polyester outfit to her dyed jet black thinning short hair. The daughter reminded me of my Nina Ruth or my Mom. I got all weepy and had to put my sunglasses on.
The guilt that I feel most days was multiplied by like a trillion. I saw what my family does everyday for my Nana and Tata. My Nana & Tata need so much help and I get weekly updates about who took them to an appointment or a call because there is a need for someone to take them to an appointment. I love being up to date on their lives, but at the same time there is this part that makes me feel horrible. I am the one that lives too far away to help. I so wish I could respond to my Nina's emails and say, "I can take that appointment". My cousins Erika is amazing, she is a young vibrant woman who still finds time to grocery shop for my grandparents on a mostly weekly basis. Most of my cousins and all my aunts and uncles help.
My Tata has been such an amazing person in my life. This man always had money or gum for me. This happened so often that by the time I graduated high school I had almost $5000 saved from all those singles and $5 that my Tata gave me. That is how often I saw him as a child. He always greets me with a loving nickname like, "querida", "mi reina" or his "princesa hermosa". This man always made me feel like a Queen. And now he watches The Phi play and grow up and now the dollar bills from his wallet go to her. I wonder how much money he has given away to his grand kids over the years.
My Nana was always the strict one with all the rules but when I didn't want to move my 8th grade year she took me in. She took care of me and fed me better than I have ever been fed before. She taught me morals and what it meant to be a good person. Her constant "stay in the yard" gave me boundaries I needed. Boundaries not just in her yard, but in life. To know how far I could stray.
Now I feel that I have strayed too far. Too far to be able to return every favor they did for me. Too far to help with their everyday life. My Nana and Tata have been such a driving force in all I do. From school to college degrees to how I parent Sophia. I want to raise her to be a person Nana and Tata would be proud of. Because really we all (and there are a lot of us) from my Nina Ruth to 4 week old Liana, we all come from them. From the college professor to the night club DJ. We all come from them and were taught by them. We will always have each other because nothing is stronger than that. Nothing is more important that the people who were there first. Who walked in front of us to clear the path so that we who follow know the easiest way. And we are able to stop and enjoy the view.
So ya yesterday I cried at Bank of America.
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