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A letter to my grandparents: “Thank you, but please forgive me”

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I was raised by grandparents who were my father and mother figures.

I was raised by grandparents who were my father and mother figures.

Photo by Ariana Alcantar

Photo by Ariana Alcantar

I was raised by grandparents who were my father and mother figures.

By Ariana Alcantar, Multimedia Editor

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I consider myself very lucky to have had, who I consider, the most generous and loving grandparents. I was 6 months old when I was put on a plane and sent to Mexico to live with my grandparents. I was the second, and last, generation they raised. When I was 9, my grandma passed away and at the age of 16, after I had moved to the U.S, my grandpa passed away as well. I didn’t get the chance to say bye or thank you to either of them. I will never be able to fully express the love and gratitude I feel towards them, however, I will try through this letter.

 

Dear Grandma Aurora and Grandpa Manuel,

Thank you for being the greatest blessing in my life, but please forgive me for forgetting you. You built my heart out of values like respect, compassion, dedication, gratitude, hope, honesty, sacrifice, and most importantly, love.  

Thank you for showing me that we are all part of this thing called the human condition, where we need to take care of one another, but please forgive me for not taking care of you.

Thank you for showing me the presence of love in our lives, but please forgive me for not saying “I love you” enough.

Thank you for always putting family before yourself, it is truly admirable, but please forgive me if I was ever ashamed of you.

Thank you for showing me that, regardless of our differences, we all want to be respected, and that by respecting others, we are accepting their dignity while we strengthen our own, but please forgive me if I ever disrespected you.

Thank you for showing me that no matter how life may change, never give up, but please forgive me if I ever gave up on you.

Thank you for hugging me to sleep, but please forgive me for taking your bed.

 

Dear Grandma,

Thank you for massaging my feet when they hurt after playing all day, but please forgive me for not ever realizing you were in pain yourself.

Thank you for waking up at 5 a.m to make tortillas, so that your family could have five meals a day, but please forgive me for not letting you treat yourself.

I remember you had long hair, all the way to your waist, you loved it, but you “needed” time to braid my hair. Thank you, but please forgive me for giving you less time.

Thank you for being a mother figure, but please forgive me for putting you aside whenever my mother came.

Thank you for taking care of me when I was sick and ill but please forgive me for never taking care of you. I was scared, not of you, but of death. I was scared that you would stop breathing. Please forgive me for letting you go, I remembered how you looked at me, I guess we both knew it would be the last time we would see each other before we could meet again.

Thank you for letting me cut roses from your garden, but please forgive me for letting them die after you passed away.

Thank you for the great childhood you gave me and for being my role model, but please forgive me for not visiting your tomb, I still feel your presence when I visit your house on vacation.

 

Dear Grandpa,

Thank you for being my father figure, but please forgive me if I ever made you feel like you were not.

Thank you for giving me so much love, but please forgive me for not appreciating you.

Thank you for taking me to church on Sundays, your constant prayers have helped me through difficult times, but please forgive me for losing faith.

Thank you for showing me that sacrifice is a value to live by, even if it means pain, so please forgive me for abandoning you. You had tough days for my happiness, please forgive me for making you cry.

Thank you for giving me your taste of ranchera music, it keeps my childhood alive, please forgive me for refusing to dance with you, I regret it now.

Thank you for being present at my performances and awards ceremonies at school, while grandma stayed home cooking, but please forgive me for not being able to attend your funeral.

Thank you for showing me that death is something we should not be afraid of because it means that people have done enough in this world and they deserve to rest peacefully, there’s no doubt in me that you left to rest, but please forgive me for being afraid of it, regardless of what you taught me.

Thank you for making me realize that death comes unexpectedly, for, we have to make sure we do good in the world and never miss an opportunity to show our gratitude to others, please forgive me for not giving you a call to ask how you were, I was afraid that would be our last “goodbye.”

Instead, I said “goodbye” in the hospital where you were under artificial life, I hope you felt my presence. It’s been my hardest goodbye, after a long time of pretending I was not hurt, I collapsed. I felt my heart breaking into a million of pieces because it hurt me so much seeing you there, dying.  

Grandma and Grandpa, thank you for making me who I am today, my goal is to find your wisdom, but please forgive me.

 

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A letter to my grandparents: “Thank you, but please forgive me”