The day I unexpectedly arrived to Honduras for what was supposed to be my grandmother’s 92nd birthday bash, an intimate conversation with my grandmother occurred. We were in her living room, surrounded by people, yet she took a moment to look up at me in the middle of all the commotion, and she asked:
“Victoria, y vos te has enamorado alguna vez?”
(Victoria, have you ever been in love?)
A flood of emotions and thoughts ran through my mind. Why was she asking? Was she serious? Why now? What do I say? I did what I’ve always known is best, I was honest.
Then I asked her, “Y usted? Alguna vez se ha enamorado?” (What about you? Have you ever been in love?)
“Si. Dos veces.”
I followed-up by asking if one of the two times had been with my grandfather. She said, “no,“ with ZERO hesitation. She’s 92, so back in the day I’m not sure how much of a role love played in starting a family with someone.
I have to say that in the 29 years I’ve known my grandmother, this was probably the most captivating, raw, and real moment I’ve ever had with her. I was so surprised by her curiosity to ask me such a thing, out of nowhere! I was also impressed by her candidness and honesty in replying to me. Many times we’re taught elders ask all the questions, we provide all the answers, and that’s it. This was a conversation. It was a conversation between two women where the barriers of tradition were removed.
Maybe that’s what surprised me the most. This moment, in a way, was my grandmother acknowledging I’m a woman. Not a little girl. Not just her granddaughter. A woman who has had experiences that she wants to know about. It was her way of reaching out, and letting the only granddaughter who hasn’t grown up with her around know that she wants to know who I am. It was her way of telling me know she cares, and whoever did me wrong wasn’t worthy of me anyways.
In true abuela fashion, she was right.
Victoria Moll-Ramirez is a broadcast journalist based in New York City. She is originally from Miami, FL and had the great fortune of being raised by the sassiest, spunkiest, wisest, most hysterical Honduran woman in the world. Victoria’s mother, Bélgica, is 60-years-old, resides in Little Havana (Miami) and enjoys a good margarita accompanied by a heartrending ranchera. Victoria blogs about her mom’s funny and wise sayings on, “In My Mother’s Words.”