Soy La Hija de Mi Abuela
I am the daughter of my grandmother
Growing up, I was always with my grandma. I grew up on my grandparents’ farm in the countryside of Wisconsin, riding horses with my grandpa, gardening and cooking with my grandma, and spending time with my family…kickin’ it country bumpkin style. I absolutely loved living on a farm when I was younger, and more than anything, living with my grandparents.
As a little girl, I learned a lot from my grandma.
She taught me how to shoot a gun…
How to raise bees and make honey….
How to cook and grow a garden…
And, she even taught me how to gamble.
Looking back…she taught me some badass stuff.
I lived with my grandma for most of my life. She was like a mother to me. She came to all my sporting events, attended all my graduations, and even came out to visit me when I moved to California. Once I was old enough, she was always down to pop a bottle of wine and sit under the stars.
She was my grandmother, my mother, and one of my best friends.
So when she passed away last month, I
was am crushed and heartbroken. It all happened so fast and too soon. It wasn’t her time. I wasn’t ready.
Is anyone ever really ready for death?
I selfishly began my Peace Corps journey hugging my friends and family goodbye, boarding a plane and putting all of them on pause. 2 years will go by so fast, I promised myself. Everyone will be just where I left them when I get back, like nothing ever changed.
But life has a funny way of reminding you it can’t be controlled or predicted.
Over the past few months, I’ve faced one of the biggest challenges of my life while living abroad in a foreign country, immersed in a new language, integrating into a new community and culture alone, and trying to start my own work and projects.
I’m kinda one of those people who doesn’t accept that I’m stressed until my jeans don’t fit anymore and I’m suddenly in the corner of a community soccer field crying uncontrollably and wiping my snotty face on a giant leaf. That may or may not have actually happened.
I’ll be honest. I’ve thought about throwing in the towel and going home…on a level 4-5/10 kind of way. It’s been really difficult to find my rhythm here and integrate into my community when my mind has been so preoccupied.
But like my mom says, the best thing you can do in the face of struggle and sadness is keep going. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m continuing on this path I’ve hewed for myself in what seems to be the bushiest forest in all the land.
And if it weren’t for the support of my family, friends, Peace Corps community and my host community, I might’ve just gotten lost in the brush.
After returning home for my grandma’s funeral, I’m finally back at site, getting ready to take on the seventh month of my service. I know the next few days will bring an overwhelming sense of readjustment and acclimation, but today I feel empowered and energized after spending time with my family, reconnecting with my home and finding a sense of peace and closure after saying goodbye to my grandma.
Cheers to you grandma. You were one hell of a lady.