Thursday, September 10, 2009

My grandmother's gifts

My maternal grandmother, Mama Abuela, sent me this hankie from Cuba for my 15th birthday - the all important 15th birthday in a Cuban girl's life. I actually remember seeing this handkerchief in her drawer during one of my visits to her home. The hankie was a small token, but her love was huge.

I've never washed or pressed this handkerchief. If I hold it close to my face, I can still breathe in the faint scents of sandalwood, cedar, and jasmine - the way her armoire always smelled. Those scents transport me back to afternoons spent in her tiny home, telling her all of my travails while she loyally took my side on every issue.
Here she is at my brother Al's First Communion. She hated to have her picture taken and would only pose under duress. Her fingers are intertwined with mine in this photo, and I remember she loved doing that.
Another note on the photo: Al is wearing, along with his "tails," the same cross I wore for my First Communion. And, two years later, I am wearing once again my First Communion dress shortened, modified and accessorized with a pink fabric rose pinned to the waist.

1 comment:

Barb said...

What a nice memory. It is amazing that you can still smell the scent of your Grandmother's armiore on the hankie. Love the photo of you, Al and your Grandmother!