What am I thankful for?
I am thankful for my aunt telling me I am being too controlling about stuff. Thankful that my grandpa calls me every 5 minutes about something on his phone. Thankful for my grandmother being annoying about if I can actually cook. Thankful that my aunt makes an effort to teach me everything about cooking, finance, owning a home or just simply asking how am I doing.
Since moving to the US, Holidays are the worst outside of Puerto Rico.
In 2017, we packed my boyfriend’s Veloster with my mom, who lived in Baltimore at the time, my brother, who goes to college in Pittsburgh, Gabriel and I, and proceeded to make the drive to NC the day before Thanksgiving. It was a rough road trip, but 8 hours later I was with family which was all that mattered to me. In 2018 we hosted Thanksgiving at our place, and a little advice, if you don’t have the best relationship with your mother, I don’t recommend having her stay an entire week with you during the holidays. This year, Gabriel and I once again drove down to NC to spend quality time with my family, You might think this is a lot of traveling, then again Thanksgiving tends to be the holiday of traveling so you might not, but doing this is the best way to forget that we live so far away from what we call home.
You see Puerto Rico is Home and will always be home, and for that I am grateful, but the best part of a home is the people in it. I am incredibly family-oriented, even when they drive me crazy, I will do anything for my family. Living in DC is amazing but I have no family around, my closest relatives are in Delaware and I rarely speak with them. But my aunt in NC means everything to me, my grandparents mean everything to me.
My Grandfather is someone I am extremely grateful for and have always been, but since a hospital stays and scare we had with him last year, the idea for being so far away has haunted me. You see I got a call saying that he might not make it past the weekend and I panicked. Mi Abuelo io has always been there for me, no matter what I choose to do. Even when he doesn’t agree with it, he is incredibly supportive and proud of it. He means everything to me and the thought of losing him shook me to my core. I wasn’t there, and I wasn’t sure if I would make it in time. I hadn’t spoken to him in a while, I hadn’t said I love you, I haven’t thanked him for everything he had ever done for me.
He stayed in the hospital for 41 days, and unfortunately, things got worse before they got better. So focusing on work was something I simply couldn’t do. Every day I called him 2 twice a day, I called my mom, my aunts, and my grandmother constantly because I needed to know what was happening. You see I was ready to get on a plane, but getting on a plane meant I was flying to say goodbye and I couldn’t get myself to do that.
It’s something I am still not ready to do. I know everyone says you are never ready to say goodbye, but I have been ready before, when my other grandfather was sick and was also in an out and the doctor had no hope, I had to get ready because if I didn’t I would have been selfish. He was suffering and saying goodbye was the right thing to do because it would mean he would no longer be in pain. But I am not ready to lose my other grandfather just yet.
This Thanksgiving I am thankful to be able to hear my Abuelo io call me “graviela”. To have him give me a kiss on the forehead, to see him sleeping and snoring on the couch with the dog on his lap, to see him decide that he will smoke a cigar because no one is telling him otherwise. To listen to his voice while asking the same question 5 times a day. I am thankful I have another day to be in his presence.
I am thankful that I am blessed to have a crazy family, that even though we aren’t in Puerto Rico, we are all blessed and grateful to have a little piece of home in North Carolina.