The plan was I’d fly in from Florida, and she’d fly in from Phoenix. We’d meet in Houston to be with my daughter and grandchildren – my mom’s granddaughter and great-grandchildren. Or maybe everyone would go to Phoenix and couch-surf at her house.
We were supposed to be together.
That was the point. To be together. For Thanksgiving. In 2021.
Those were the kinds of plans we made last year when we were kept apart by Covid. We’ll be together again. Next Thanksgiving.
But then cancer. Everywhere. Suddenly, our mom was gone.
We were cheated, robbed, from having her with us this Thanksgiving and every Thanksgiving. And every holiday and every birthday and any day of any significance in our family.
And this, I can’t get over. I can’t forgive. At least not yet. Maybe never.
When a piece of wood splinters, you can’t really fix it. You can hold the two pieces together, and they sort of fit, but there are these little pieces of wood that splinter off completely.
The best you can do is wrap some duck tape around it and hope for the best.
My family is now like that piece of wood. Splintered into several uneven pieces. The pieces aren’t even in the same area codes. Arizona. Texas. Florida. New York.
This piece of wood – aka our family – will never be the same. Ever.
On one hand, it’s a testament to who my mom was. She was larger than life. She was the matriarch. La mera mera.
Who are we without her? How does a splintered family stay together? Who has the duct tape?
My brother and I did our best to stay connected over the holiday – our first Thanksgiving without mom. He shared pictures of his bacon-wrapped turkey and we shared funny stories during our video chat about his gravy and my stuffing. (I forgot to make it.)
But we were missing the most important ingredient: Our mom.
Soy hija de Gloria. Hija de guerrera. Esta es la historia de mi mamá. Y también mi terapia.
I’m Gloria’s daughter. Daughter of a warrior. This is my mom’s story. And my therapy.