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I love this photo--why? because that huge grin is because my parents entrusted me with holding (just for the quick photo) my newest best friend, my baby sister Maria and I'm sitting next to my longest time best friend, and first sister, Cris. I'm wearing a dress made by my dad's mom, my Abuela Marta, and Cris is wearing the same style dress in another color. I bet my nails are clean and neat, cause my mom's dad Abuelo Duran would always check our nails, and help us out. My mom and dad at the time were young and working hard to give us what we needed, and they did and then some. Thanks for not having all the money in the world, because if times hadn't been tough, I doubt I would fully appreciate all that you gave us, your time, your energy, your patience, your strictness, your love and the opportunity to make our way on this world. Like "empty stoneware" you bring so much more with your presence. Sometimes just being there is all that is needed. I'm lucky that I always feel my parents are with me. I know I should call more often, but you are always with me. Yesterday was the anniversary of my mom's mothers's death. I didn't know her well, she was formal and serious, never Abuelita, always Abuela. I didn't know her during her life the way I've gotten to know her since, she lived in a world that was far different than I can imagine. She was born in Cuba, years ago when women's dreams were (well, I'm not getting that deep today.) lived a life of luxury (sorry, but in my view having 2 staircases, one made of marble, counts as luxury); left her homeland with her husband and her two youngest kids, since my aunt was already away at a GirlScout camp. Leaving your homeland to protect your family, going from the warmth of Cuba to northern Texas and later to Pennsylvania. She was the quieter, less exciting Grandma. I hope she knows I love her dearly. My mom's parents were more formal, just like my mom is more formal than my dad. So when they taught me to blow the cover off the straws-when were eating at Woolworths or some store that had a diner area--it probably shocked my mom. My Abuela Margot colored her hair for so many years, finally revealing the most beautiful silvery hair. Look at her hands below, holding my youngest cousin--that's love--those hands and arms remind me of my mom's too. I love that in this photo only 5 cousins are looking at the camera--and the oldest of each family are not, and my Abuela is in a color that almost disappears into the couch. This is an awesome photo! Thank God for the days of film, when imperfect photos captured reality. Abuela Margot was buried in a deep purple (aubergine) dress that she had gotten for my wedding that she would not be able to attend. She made the everyday special by adding fruit to pudding and making individual cups so we each got to be special. She had pink Dove soap in her house, and when I smell that I think of her. Her funeral was the first one that I attended as an adult. I don't think I understand why my coworkers at the time gave me a stuffed animal when I returned from the funeral. But I think that she is up in heaven reading all my posts, all my rambling writings and spoken words- with a quiet smile. I think of Abuela Margot often. If you ever find her signature on page 100 of a book--please let me know--I'm happy to have that connection with my past. Double numbers always have been special to me, last night I learned more about double numbers and someday will write that story up. But for now on August 8--I think that I'll just send my love out there to infinity and back. Yes, I love you to heaven and back. Peace my friends! She would say to me, Teresita, stop writing this story now, and go to work. So I will. Love you Abuela Margot! Thank you for being you and being awesome--and for saving all the bits and scraps of words I wrote and mailed to you as a kid--like this one... Love you to Heaven and Back! Or like Buzz Lightyear would say "to infinity and beyond" Thinking of Daisies--can you guess why?