A Smile is the Best Memory…

Today is my maternal grandma’s birthday. Corina Valdez y Brisol de Garcia would have been 95 years old today. I share a birth month with both my paternal and my maternal grandmothers. In honor of my grandma Corine, a fellow Virgo, here is a memory…

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*********** I am fourteen again. We are making the usual drive from Pojoaque to Santa Fe, on the way to visit my grandma. The evening sun is setting as we pass the Santa Fe Opera and make our way up the hill. It is Christmas Eve. My mom played holiday music at home, and it still moves softly out of my mouth. I am excited to see my cousins, aunts, and uncles again. Even though I feel we live so very far, we still feel a closeness. The further we get into Santa Fe, the more I anticipate seeing my grandmother smile brightly and open her gifts. I am sure she will like what I got for her. I wrapped it myself. We now embark on the short drive up to the last driveway on Navajo Drive. The road to the home of my grandma marks the intersection of that and Jay Street. As soon as we drive up, I hear rancheras and laughter. Now I know we have arrived. Family is spread about. Some are inside, and some are out. I see her porch. It is the main place we gather. It is nice to see happy faces, and to receive warm greetings. There are so many of us, but we still take the time to greet one another. “Mis Christmas,” my Uncle Peps says cheerfully. We make our way to her door through the busy chattering on the porch. I am dying to try her food. I waited all day for this! When we walk in, she smiles at us. She stirs her posole. Tia Chench is cooking away as well. She is getting a pot of red chili ready. She takes her spoon and asks me if I would like to try it. “Of course,” I say. Nearby the cinnamon in my Uncle Donald’s spiked nog tickles my nose. He has such an attention to detail. He uses intricate little cups, a fancy bowl and ladle to serve up his yearly concoction. He takes a cup and gives my mom some to try. “Tell me what it needs,” he says. I can hear her smack her lips with a voiceless yum! He knows that means it needs nothing more, and nothing less. Laura, Tom and I head for the tree to deposit our gifts. We have traveled this path, just as all the others for years. My grandma has carpet which is worn by the steps of those who care for her. She comes into the living room to talk with everyone, and nestles into her usual spot. She asks us “how do you like my tree?” The little tree peers out her picture window into the night with lights, sparkles, and love. The tree looks just as beautiful as it did last year. My uncles look at it proudly, for of course they played a part in the tradition. Though the lights are small and blue, they fill her living room with radiant warmth. For my grandma, my uncle has again recreated the manger scene. The scene is complete with baby Jesus, and the angels looking down on him. The clouds are soft and silky, so I quickly touch them before any one can catch me. After we eat, we gather in the living room around my grandma and her sister. My uncles tease my grandma about already knowing what she is getting in each present because she has taken a peek! Everyone laughs. The more family she sees, the more she smiles. She lifts each gift to show everyone, and says thanks.
It is a happy time.***********

This is one thing I remember about going to visit my grandma when she was alive. I miss times like this. I miss her. I miss her little chuckle, her food, her stories, and taking her birthday presents. What I miss most of all is her smile.

Explore posts in the same categories: Family Photos, Memories, Special Occasions

9 Comments on “A Smile is the Best Memory…”

  1. Corina Says:


    • flujan Says:

      I know right?? When I read the lil story to my mom on Grandma’s birthday I cried… I am just so glad that we all still keep in touch! Thanks MJ23!

  2. Mark Garcia Says:

    Love it. These were the good ol days!!

    • flujan Says:

      They were ha Mark! Thanks for taking the time to check it out… Did u see baby Markeh? Or neahhhh? 2 cute! Ur baby gurl looks just like u- beautiful smile n all!

  3. Corina Jr. Says:

    omg!! I love this posting Felish!! How about I totally have many memories of all the holidays that were all spent with grama.. Awe I miss her so much.. “I wish we could all just get along” and still have gatherings like our family used too!! Great job girl.. I loved your lil slide show too!!

    • flujan Says:

      Haha- I know right? Did u like baby Corina in the lil velvet dress? 2 cute gurl! Just how I remember u- u are the first person I thought of when D was born! He had ur sweet lil face! Much love 2 all of u…

  4. Laura Lou Says:

    Ahhhhhh, memories 😦 when I saw how old katelin is now when I saw her at her game I got all sad. Time goes too fast.

  5. […] Read: The Concha Belt; The Power of Scent- Yerba Buena; Precious Trinkets and Sparkly Things; and A Smile is the Best Memory. […]

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