Mario E. Rodríguez

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Olga María León with her little brother, Tío Papún


I can’t imagine my life without my mother. Without her, probably I wouldn’t be here, in front of this computer writing this down now. She has been there for me since the very first day of my existence, loving me, looking after for me, taking care of me and if I continue talking about her, I won’t stop.

Enough talking about my mother. Let me now tell you about the real purpose of this, my grandmother. When Olga María León was one-years-old, she and her little brother, Tío Papún, were abandoned by their mother. It was an act of cruelty to its maximum, a betrayal in full bloom. Abuela Olga’s aunt and uncle found them alone in their house, with a note from their mother directing them to take care of her children. She didn’t give any reasons for her departure nor did she write to her kids neither explaining nor asking for forgiveness.

Their aunt and uncle decided to raise them. But, as we all know it’s not the same to raise your own kids, as it is to raise other people’s kids. It was hard for my grandma and her brother. They had to wait for hand-me-down clothes from their cousins. They never got a new pair of shoes, or new clothes. They never had a real mother to love them, as it should be. That’s why I admire Abuela Olga so much. She raised five kids with no foundation of how to be a mother herself.

I still can’t believe that there are people out there who don’t care about the fruit of their wombs. My grandmother’s mother never returned home. Abuela Olga doesn’t remember her face because she was too young. Even now, Abuela still wonders why her mother abandoned her. Maybe she had a reason, or maybe there was no reason. Maybe she was crazy, maybe she wasn’t. Maybe she didn’t love her children, or maybe she knew she wasn’t going to be a good mother. These and other endless possibilities flow through my grandmother’s thoughts each and every day of her life. That’s why every time I look at that picture of her and her brother when they were kids I see their innocence.

I admire her strength and her will. When I see her, I see a woman who still found a way to use a motherly touch to love her children despite the way her mother failed to love her and her brother. She raised her children with a sweet doctrine to love their children more than anything, which made my mother the mother that she is.  And that’s why I thank Abuela Olga so much.

I write this to a strong, loving woman, to a woman of will and dedication.

The Fruits of Love

This Abuela, this is for you.

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