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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011... Memories (12/25/2011)

Sitting here all by myself reminiscing about the “good old days”... I remember as a child I didn't understand why my elders sat for hours chatting among themselves about their version of the “good old days” Now, I have a full understanding as to why. The memory of those days offers us a sense of more innocent times, happier times, times when we saw the world painted it a much more brilliant shade. It offers us a sense of peace and tranquility – one that we don't have today. All you seem to remember when you think of those times are smiles, hugs and love. A love that perforated the soul. It felt good... right... Oh, how I wish those days would return. I pray that this year to come, bring at least a fraction of that joy back to my heart.

One of my fondest memory...
I was about 8 years old. We used to gather together at my Titi (Auntie) Maro's (Maro - short for Maria) house, with the entire family for Christmas. There were so many people; there had to have been at least 30 people, if not more. Funny thing is that everyone knew each other - cousins, uncles, aunts, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. We all knew each others name; even funnier than that, we knew who was realted to whom and how.
I remember people - relatives approaching me and asking in comment form "Hey, you're Ana's daughter..." I'd just nodd my head in agreement.
Titi Maro, my mother, other aunts and my grandmother, Abuela Lupe - were all gathered together in the kitchen chit-chatting and cooking together. While one tended to the rice, another tended to the pork roast, and yet another mixed the preferred drink of the night "Coquito" (the Puerto Rican version of Eggnog - except made with coconut milk). I could hear as they practically yelled at each other, talking about one thing or another. Yet, none of them were angry, as the matter of fact they were all happy. The yelling back and forth was to them merely being conversational (Puerto Rican's are loud by nature. lol).
The men - My dad, my uncles, the older male cousins were all gathered together in the living-room, preparing the table to play dominoes. I can remember hearing them as they laughingly yelled back and forth at each other as to who was going to win the game.
The living-room lights were dim, and the only real source of light was a small vaguely lit lamp, and the Christmas tree. Yet, the environment was so alluring and beautiful. I loved every minute of it. I could smell the food in the air. I could feel a brisk cold breeze that entered in through a slivered opening in the window...
It was such a peaceful scene. So much love. So much happiness...
A cousin turned on the radio and yelled, "Weeepa! Vamos! (Yeah, let's go!) " and ran a grabbed the first cousin that she crossed in her path, and there started the dancing. I watched in amazement and satisfaction. Just like that I felt someone grab hold of my arm and pull at me. It was my cousin Raquel (Rocky is what we called her), "Mini, come on...  let's play!" she hollered at me in unadulterated glee over the loud salsa  music.
Ahhh, the "good old days" indeed....

Merry, happy Christmas to you all! Enjoy the happy times, because during the sadder times they are what help get us through.