"Cuidate el molcajete."
A bazillion years ago...
(the late eighties)
When the ozone layer was still intact. It was the days of big hair with bangs jacked up to Jesus.
(we called them eyelash heads)
When spraying Aqua Net or crowning your glory to a shellacifide consistency with that grapey smelling concoction, Aussie Sprunch Spray was "the thang to do".
("they" still sell sprunch spray 'ya know, don't know why, but "they" still do. Just in case you needed some)
The time came for me to fly the nest. For the second eldest in a big Mexican family this was difficult on so many levels. I had to leave the youngest of my brothers behind.
(sniff...sniff...it still aches to sing Puff the Magic Dragon)
There were a lot of "Had to's" I had to do...
I had to leave everyone I'd known and who knew me.
I had to leave the small town I knew like the back of my hand.
(and the ditch banks too...hee, hee)
I had to leave the comfort of my big family.
I had to leave my Nana.
Leaving was hard. But like so many instances in life, hard things must be done.
I knew then like I know now, that leaving the comforts and security of home, family and friends was something I had to do to grow.
Nana knew this too.
She was a tough woman.
She had very little formal schooling, but she could read and write.
The border crossed her at a very young age, but she could speak english fluently.
The single mother of a deaf child, but she taught her how to sign.
Like I said, Nana was tough.
She was soft too.
I loved to sit with her and watch soap operas and Mexican novelas.
I loved to go to her house when I was sick and commandeer the television set. She had cable!
I loved to squeeze her and tuck my cold toes under her ample bottom. She was so warm.
I loved to goose her. She had a wicked sense of humor.
I loved to go shopping with her at the beginning of each month. She could stretch a Social Security check farther than I can stretch my paycheck.
I loved to eat at The Asia Cafe after our shopping trip. It was like a day out with the ladies.
I loved that she could defend herself against anyone. She could cuss like a sailor.
But I think the most I loved about Nana was that fact that she knew how to give advice in such a way that it told the receiver without mincing words, "I know of which I speak. Learn from my experience."
When I left home the only advice Nana gave was in spanish. Translation was not needed, nor was explanation.
"Cuidate el molcajete."
I've tried Nana. I hope I did you proud!