I am Hispanic and I love every part of my culture. You may not know this but Hispanic families are close. We enjoy having our children and grandchildren around us …. I mean geographically around us. I grew up in Freer, Texas – a small South Texas community located 2 hours south of San Antonio. I also raised my girls in Freer.
I am the middle child (or 2nd born) of three girls and one boy. My parents gave us so much that I never appreciated it when I was younger. It isn’t until I’ve grown older that I’ve realized that we were so fortunate and rich with love. They along with my grandparents, aunts and uncles showered us with so much love. I may have not been the best kid, but I always knew I had the best family.
Some of my most cherished moments were of time spent with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents in Freer, Texas and San Diego, Texas. Holidays and birthdays were always celebrated among family. On Sundays, my Tia Olivia Serna would drive to Freer from San Diego and bring everyone a bag of “Pan Dulce” (Spanish Sweet Bread). I can still see her bringing in a huge basket of pan dulce into my grandmother’s house. After church on Sunday, all our family met at my Grandpa Gilbert Uribe’s house for a pot luck. Relatives not only brought food to the table, they also brought love. Everyone communicated with each other and talked about what was happening in our little town.
As kids…. there was no technology to distract us from play time. We played outside. “Kick the Can” was a favorite pastime game. We learned how quilting was done with fresh cotton from the fields. We learned many family traditions like making “Pan de Polvo” (Spanish Christmas Cookies) or making tamales – traditions that I passed down to my girls. It was something special to grow up around your cousins. After my grandparents passed away, it became harder and harder to keep traditions alive. It seemed they were the glue that kept us together. I’ve tried hard to keep that tradition of family alive for my girls. It was hard. Cousins started moving away and eventually I also moved away to North Texas with my girls. The point of all this reminiscing is that “family was all around”.
My oldest daughter, Carina, recently moved away from Texas to Colorado. She, her husband, Clint, and my grandson, Cole are starting a new life away from Texas and family. She asked me to drive with her on the trip so that I could help out with little Cole. We left on Friday, October 5, 2018. As I type this latest blog entry, I am sitting in her beautiful kitchen in Castle Rock, Colorado. I have to be “real” about my feelings. When I first came to their home, I felt numb and somewhat tired. I thought about the elevation change. Someone mentioned that Elevation Sickness impacts some people who are not accustomed to the altitude change. As the days passed, I realized that it was more than the elevation impacting me. It was the fact that part of my family wasn’t going to be close to me or even in the same state. My husband has reassured me that I will be okay but I’ve exclaimed, “I am Hispanic….this is not natural. It goes against our culture.”
I soon began to remember how hard it was for my mother when my sister, Lisa, and I both moved away in 2007. She moved to Houston with her family and I moved to McKinney with the girls – four grandchildren away from her. It was a sad time for her. She must have had the same thoughts running through her mind. A piece of her heart was leaving – not forever – but to a different place.
I am truly happy for my daughter and her little family. She has grown up to be a beautiful young woman who is an AMAZING mother. Her husband, Clint, is a wonderful husband and doting father. What more could a mother /grandmother ask for? God has blessed our family in so many ways. I won’t lie… I am sad, but I am already planning to visit often and earn lots of South West Airline miles. I will be fine….just like my daughter will be fine. She knows I love her so much and she knows that family is all around.
I have decided that I must cherish the time I have with my daughter and her family and know that “family” means more than having them live near you. It is about this strong bond that can never be broken regardless of the miles apart. That is true happiness.
It is snowing outside and it is time to make some hot cocoa.