For months I anticipated our visit to California. We had not been home since 2011 and I missed many things, most importantly my mother. We arrived only 5 days after her 44th birthday on the morning of February 26, 2013. Waiting for our ride to collect us from the Long Beach airport we excitedly soaked in all the California sunshine. My brother, his wife and my sweet mom or “Mami” pulled up and she presented us with a thoroughly embellished welcome sign and gifts including Caspian’s very early Easter basket, she’s always thinking of others.
My mother had planned a surprise birthday party for me, my birthday is only one day prior to hers. She always says that I was the best 20th birthday present she could have had. Instead of such party (I am a little of an investigator and found out about it) I asked her if we could please have a very small ‘family thing’ instead. The first day here was one of my favorites. We arrived to the house to find rose petals arranged on the floor spelling out “WELCOME”, the lights were turned on around my mother’s Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary statues, and the house and dinning table were dressed in festive decor, I now realized what had taken them so long to arrive at the airport. The whole family, including my husband, Caspian, my three brothers, sister in law, my mom, and her significant other shared a meal together. Mami brought out a tres leches cake and candles, as is our tradition, mom & I blew out the candles together, Caspian depositing a few breaths. We finished the night with the radio playing rock en español, combias & merengue on one of my favorite California radio stations. We clapped, danced and laughed, I couldn’t ask for anything better.
During the last few days we’ve spent visiting the beach, eating local foods, Universal Studios Hollywood, Disneyland, going to the movies or “cine”, something we seldom do in Virginia, and just spending time together. Being home has made me very happy but it’s also has made me aware of how much my mother needs me here. My mom was diagnosed with diabetes, she has been in and out classes and hospitals trying to learn how to live with her disease. While being here I’ve accompanied my mother to a few of her nutrition education classes trying to understand the disease myself. Very recently my mom has been put on insulin which she must administer to herself several times per day, she sometimes has trouble seeing while driving, feels tingling in her legs, is constantly exhausted, and her sugar spikes have led her to seek immediate medical attention on various occasions. It is this reason among others that I hope to move to California permanently once my dear husband finishes his marine corps contract in June. For now I aim to enjoy the moments before my husband returns to the east coast early next week and the time I share with my wonderful mother, this wonderful woman I love with all my heart.