Her name is Sara, maiden name Riveros, but everyone that meets her gets to call her Grandma.
An angel in the shape of my sweet vovó pronounced Voh-voh, or grandma in English. Anyone that ever has the honor to meet her gets to hear her say “I love you” in the quirkiest broken English you’ll ever hear; she says it every time someone leaves.
She knows that life is not always guaranteed, and she teaches me that you should never say goodbye to someone without saying something kind in their departure. She’s the sweetest and most forgiving person I will ever have the privilege to meet.
If someone comes over, she likes to make sure they leave the house with a belly full of delicious treats, and she attends to everyone before herself. She finds it rude to do it otherwise. I remember school days and coming home and seeing my friends already sitting around my kitchen table hanging out with my grandma, and she would always make sure to serve them a plate of food.
A little backstory on Vovó.
I like to think that one of the things that keep her soul young is her magical ability to be absolutely care-free, really, during family disputes, the house could be crumbling down and she will put a song on and dance, and smile, making it impossible for any argument and negative energy to prevail.
She is the backbone of our family; she has been through hell and back from a young age. She went from losing both of her parents to having to raise her younger sisters, all of that responsibility, and she did it all with love and kindness always.
At 46, she lost the love of her life, my grandpa Marcelo, she never found it in herself to remarry, and my grandpa will forever be her true love as she tells us. From what she says, he was stubborn as a mule, and she was his sweetheart.
She tells us his dream was to meet his grandchildren but sadly, lung cancer snatched that dream away from him. Despite all the pain she has been through, her heart never turned cold, if anything it made her a warmer person.
Growing up, she always taught me to fight for what I wanted and to never let anyone dictate my life, she encouraged me to always study and get an education. I have a keen memory of her being a strong woman, even in her late 60’s, life never made her rough, strong yes, but elegantly sweet.
I can’t leave out the fact that she is the queen of self-care, she has a skincare routine that started at 20-years-old, she tells me and my sister all the time that we have to moisturize twice a day, and that we must begin while we are still young! If I get to be and look anything like her when I get to her age, I will honestly be able to say my life has been fulfilled.
She turns 76 this year, and her dream is to spend her birthday in Las Vegas, quite the personality. So I’m hoping COVID-19 doesn’t ruin it for us; it is bad enough that we have to keep her locked inside. She’s a free-spirited soul, and this year was rough on her, yet she always mentions how grateful she is for our health.
I read a novel once, written by Fredrik Backman where he quotes, “Having a grandmother is like having an army. This is a grandchild’s ultimate privilege: knowing that someone is on your side, always, whatever the details.”
That quote stuck with me, and If you are lucky like me to still have your grandparents by your side, I advise you to cherish every moment you spent with them.