Sunday, April 28, 2013

Happy 80th Birthday, Grandma!

What an amazing experience my grandmother's (Mami, as I call her) 80th birthday was.

Her birthday celebration was a surprise, so my mom and aunt did things on the hush hush.

It all started with my trip to Puerto Rico. Mami didn't know that my brother and I were coming. I waited 3 long hours at the airport for him so that we could arrive together to surprise Mami. That worked out wonderfully. She was happy to have seen my brother and meet his wife and wonderful boys.

When Mami saw me, she looked at me, hugged me and was pleasantly surprised to see me. However, she didn't recognize me for who I was. She thought I was a cousin of mines, too sweet. My mom asked her "Mami, sabes quien es?" (Do you know who she is?). Mami looked at me again and her eyes grew bigger as the true recognition set in, she realized it was me. She gave me the tightest hug she could have given me. Tears flowed down me eyes. I was overcome with joy to have seen her. After all, the last time I saw my grandmother was when my oldest, who is now 9 years old, was born. She was there, in the delivery room and got to see her great grandson being born into this world. I will never forget that, nor did she. She made sure she reminded me of the last time I saw her.

It was great being back in the house where I spent countless summers when little. The house remained the same, except for a few changes here and there. I remember thinking to myself when I walked through the house how, as a child when you see things or experience things, they tend to be bigger in your mind. Like larger than life. My grandmother's house is like that. I remember it being huge. I still describe it as having this long hallway, big, bright bathrooms, huge kitchen, spacious porch and a feeling of being in a palace. I hang on to those memories. However, the house wasn't as huge as I remember it but it was still a home away from home. Now, I hang on to that feeling.

The day of my grandmother's birthday, she was awaken with a serenade. What a beautiful and magical thing to see and experience. I honestly felt like I was transported back to an era where friends were welcomed into your home at early hours in the morning and you shared in the joyous moments of life. It was such a simple gesture yet held so much. I was able to capture it all on video and take some pictures. All the while I was watching, I was mesmerized and of course crying cause that's just what I do.

These were the gentlemen who serenaded Mami. 

My grandmother is a late sleeper. She wasn't immediately awaken my the music but had to be awaken by her son. When she realized and came out, she was overjoyed. I could see it in her face and her emotions.

Here's the first part of the serenade. 

Here's the second part of the serenade.

The evening of her birthday, we surprised her with a little party at her son's beach bar/restaurant. There was a live band playing, food was being served and the drinks were flowing, not freely but still flowing. :-) We sang happy birthday to her and it was a good time to be had by all around.

My brother's birthday was the day after, so we celebrated his birthday and sang to him at midnight as well. It's great to share in birthday celebrations with those you love.

Thank you for reading and for celebrating in memories that will never be forgotten.


  1. What a beautiful story! I am so happy that you had such a great trip visiting your family. These are precious memories. :)
    Happy belated birthday to your Mami.

    1. It was a great trip. Bittersweet trip too since I'm not sure if or when I'll see her again.


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