My mother died exactly a month ago–two weeks before her 76th birthday. Those who knew my mom will remember her fierce adoration of her daughters, her complete commitment to making sure things were always in order, and her fantastic cooking. The biggest influence on me though, was her curiosity. She loved ideas. She loved taking new bus routes (“If I get lost, the bus just turns around and brings me back. Don’t worry about it.”). She loved meeting new people (but she did always judge them). She loved seeing new cities (but Los Angeles was always her favorite). She loved finding out new things, then writing them down and asking me about them (“Escuche algo, pero no lo entendí. Explícame.”).
She swam in underground caves (while hanging off my legs in Cancun), went jet-skiing (by Luis Miguel’s house in Acapulco), loved fancy sushi restaurants (in San Francisco), always wanted the hippest of my sneakers (even if they were green and orange), and always wanted to learn more (even if it was just to understand what I actually did at work).
My mom was amazing and I’ve tried to share some of her wisdom with you over the years through my posting of “Things My Mamá Said.” You’ve got to admit, her observations were always amusing. She made me laugh a lot every day. “No mom, it’s not Body de John. It’s Bed, Bath & Beyond.” She was a really funny lady with the fullest of laughs.
As you might guess, it is a sad time in my life, but I take comfort in something my mom often repeated the past couple of years. When we’d sit around at my house, or go for a walk in the park, or take a trip, she’d stop mid-sentence and look at me. Then she’d say she felt like a “princesa en un cuento de hadas.” I loved that my mom felt like we’d navigated life in a way where she was the princess in a fairy tale, because she was definitely magical.