Aug 7, 2004

I got word early this morning that my grandmother, my abuelita Eva, passed away. We learned yesterday morning that her health took a turn for the worse and my mother and father rushed to her bedside to make sure she was comfortable. We understand she may have gone in her sleep, which gives us all comfort. I am glad she no longer has to suffer due to her health. I have many memories of my grandmother, but the ones that will always stay with me are the pictures in my mind of her smiling face and her cooing laugh. My abuelita and I did not communicate in lengthy conversation due to the language barrier, but we always managed to understand each other with a laugh and a smile.

My abuelita was at times mischievous… she would sometimes do things just to get a rise out of us. I remember how she loved kids... she always loved kids – smiling at them and making baby sounds to them – that smile beaming through and through. For the most part, abuelita was quiet. While at my parents, she would retreat to her room and just lie on the bed and rest. We would always try to summon her out to join us, “Abuelita!! Don’t sleep! Come spend time with your family!!” We wouldn’t hear anything from her. After a few minutes my mom would notice that she was peeking at us from around the corner. We would all look and she would disappear. Usually, she would emerge and it was always a grand entrance, “Abuelita! It’s so good to see you!!” everyone would exclaim, “come sit here at the table with us and talk.” She would sit and just listen to us.

One time my mom, dad and wife went to a Chinese restaurant – abuelita joined us. She was so alive that night! She was talking and joking – it was so uncharacteristic! I remember that evening very well. Then there was our wedding... we couldn’t believe it when she got up and made her way to the dance floor. She joined the rest of us, dancing away for a good while. Our guests said to me, “Hey man… your grandma is cooool! Check her out!!” What an impact that made on me. I once thought – maybe she’s always resting to save up her energy for these moments.

Being up here in DC, I am sorry that I didn’t get to see her in her last days. But I will forever have with me the memories of the good times that we shared together. My abuelita… she brought my mom and dad to God. My parents brought me to God. She was truly God’s worker. I know that my abuelita was the working force that brought my mom and aunt and her daughters together after many years of anger and silence just a few weeks ago. It was my abeulita’s last big accomplishment. I believe that the Lord had this one last task for her to complete. With it done, He was ready for her to come home. She gave us such a great gift – she gave us our family back. I know that she is in a better place now, up there in heaven.

I love you abuelita. I will see you soon.


my abuelita
Eva Rivas
1916-2004


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