1.08 – Flower Dust

Jorlys I. Alvarado Morales

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MY BEAUTIFUL AND DELICATE ROSE, ROCíO – I. Rocío –  My Grandmother Rocío, was born on December 13, 1946 in Salinas, Puerto Rico.  She had a twin brother named Luis.  In total, there were eleven children in the household. Rocío was the youngest but had been born with the instinct of a caring mother. She always carried a rag doll named Lucy that had been made by her father. My grandmother always said that when she became a mother, she would give everything to her children and she would love them no matter what. All through her childhood, she was a caring happy girl and became the favorite in her house for her obedience to her parents. This photo was taken on September 10, 1964 when she was sixteen-years-old. Grandmother Rocío always wore white dresses...

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Andrés R. Muñiz

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A THOUSAND MEMORIES – This photograph is of a wedding. In it, all of the Muñiz Vega Family is present, although many of the names escape me. I do recognize Radamés Muñiz, who is my grandfather (labeled), and América Vega, his aunt, who is easy to recognize, given the fact she is wearing the wedding dress, and holding a bouquet of flowers. The year is 1926, but Radamés Muñiz doesn’t exactly remember the date. When he showed me this picture, his face was joyous, a joy that had been forgotten. It is such a pleasure to see his smile as memories of his youth flooded back to him. We sat in his impressive library surrounded by hundreds of books, some up to two-hundred-years-old. As usual, he offered me coffee. I respectfully declined, and then he sat down in his...

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Gabriel Vidal

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STRINGS OF MEMORIES – I struggle with all my strength to hold on to the old dusty desk, but falter and curse as the eighty-year-old piece of furniture busts into pieces. With a sense of foreboding, I look at my mom and before I speak she says, “Don’t worry about it. I was going to tell you to put it outside. It’s full of termites.” Sighing with relief, I suddenly see an envelope in the middle of the wrecked mess. Inside are countless pictures of family members I have never seen in my life. My mom explains they are of my great-grandfather, Calixto Rodríguez, and his family. As she drones on, I drift off into a haze of my own imagination. It’s a rainy day, and a grey fog envelops the atmosphere of Ajaccio, Corsica. Calixto Rodríguez barges into the café and...

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Maruja Toledo

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TO THE GIRL IN THE PICTURE – There you stand, posing for a wedding picture, without even a smile on your face. What are you wondering?  Let me tell you something. Your life will not be nearly as bad as you might imagine nor as wonderful as you would wish for, but in spite of everything, you will survive.  Even though you do not know it yet, you are a survivor. Perhaps you do not know, but there are loving hands all around you.  The hands that sewed your dress worked tirelessly for hours so it would be a perfect fit.  The fabric was bought with money earned honestly by hands toiling endlessly, stitching tiny, perfect stitches into fine gloves for the local tailor. What other thoughts are encumbering your mind?  Could it be that you do know how hard everyone...

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Paola C. Morales Ortíz

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TIMELESS SMILE – All these photographs are of my mom and taken way before I was even in her thoughts; before she met my dad, even before pictures had color. Back then, the photos make it seem like  everything was black and white. One dollar could take you places and having a TV was the best thing that could ever happen. In the first picture my mom is a baby sitting on her mother’s lap. Like all babies, she was quite a bundle.  She wouldn’t sit still and look at the camera. They had to settle for a picture of her looking sideways. In the second picture my mother is a little older, no more than five-years-old. She is participating as a flower girl for a wedding. She is serious, maybe due to the fact that she doesn’t even know the people who are getting...

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