Today is the 29th anniversary of the passing of my grandmother, my father’s mother. Rainy days such as these remind me of her. Growing up, with both parents working, I remember staying with my grandmother “Grandma Ma” when I was a little girl. She would wake up every day about 5/6am and tend to her roses and plants every morning. Afterwards, she would make sure my grandfather would have fresh coffee and breakfast before he left to work and when he’d leave she would always throw a load of laundry in the washer and then out we’d go back outside. This was her every day weekday morning ritual; since my parents would go to work early, I was included in her every day outdoorsy morning tasks. She would show me how to water her plants, care for the roses, pick fresh cilantro, and sometimes we’d even enjoy some fresh pomegranate from a neighborhood tree. She would talk to me about how everything grew and how we needed rain for everything to grow strong, big, and colorful. On rainy days, we would still go outside; I remember it like it was yesterday, she would sit outside on the steps of her green walkway as she watched me splash in the puddles, and play with snails. When it would rain, so many would come out of the grass and into her walkway. As dirty as I would get, by the time my mom picked me up to go home, I was always bathed, had my hair styled, and fed. You would have never known I was playing in mud, with snails, and splashing in puddles most of day when it rained.
I experienced the same kind of moments with my father (still do); he is so much like her, he probably doesn’t even realize it. I’m sure she smiles down at him from heaven as she watches him bring such lovely things to life with the green thumb she passed on to him. He is even a big coffee drinker like my grandmother was; after our adventures outside, we had our coffee, snack, and conversation break. I believe, my father’s (and the rest of my family’s) love for nature, wildlife, the sky, and direction of the winds and tides comes from her. I believe that I was born with the same appreciation for nature, love for what the weather brings, and passion for living things; minus the green thumb. I couldn’t grow a plant to save my own life. It’s interesting to me how certain passions and traits are passed on to us from our elders; the older I get, the more I learn about the people my family members were, are, and who I am as well.
My grandmother loved perfume, having her hair done, and always had lipstick on. As feminine as she was, she was never afraid to dig her hands in the dirt, be outside on a rainy day, doing what she loved. I like to think I took after her a little bit myself; as girly as I may appear to many, I myself am not opposed to getting a little dirty outside and rather be relaxing on the riverbank than shopping at the mall any day. Rain reminds me of so many childhood and adulthood memories; good ones too. Some of my best and biggest life moments have happened on rainy days; with the anniversary of my grandmother’s passing, I thought I’d share this one with all of you.
Raindrops are hugs and kisses falling down on us from our loved ones up in the heavens ~April Mae Monterrosa