Carmen: My MomJuly 27th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero
LAS VEGAS, NV -
I moved back to Vegas from Charlotte over a year ago. The reasons? Too many. But one of them was that my mom (my grandmother actually) was battling cancer and I wanted to be by her side. I spent many sad nights on the east coast thinking about what she was going through. It hurt like nothing I ever felt before. I felt like a horrible son.
A few months back I lost her. Gone forever. My mom.
A couple of days ago I was speaking to a good friend of mine and my mom came up and before I knew it I was crying like a baby. Tears poured out of my eyes, memories crushed my chest, and I began to tell her what this woman meant to me.
And she meant everything.
I told her she was a great friend.
I told her that she was funny.
I told her she was intelligent and feisty.
I told her that my mom held a certain sadness in her walk, that some hurt was behind her smile, her beautiful brown eyes that were lined with curly eyelashes.
I told her she loved the song Layla and was a great cook.
And I told her that I was one of her favorites. That we had a great connection, had some heated debates, had some great laughs, danced in the kitchen, and read One Hundred Years of Solitude together.
We loved the book and before she passed she bought me Gabo’s latest work.
Oh, she also loved literature, was a voracious reader.
“I thought you’d like this, honey,” she said, handing me the book.
She also called me honey. And baby. And Rene. And Reenie.
I told my friend I hadn’t written about my grandmother since her passing, that I couldn’t. But she encouraged me to.
So, here it is.
Two days before she passed we had our last conversation.
We talked openly that our time was up. That we wouldn’t dance ever again, that she wouldn’t cook for me ever again.
I didn’t cry.
For some reason I couldn’t.
But I realized the moment, seized it, and gave her the best goodbye I could.
“So, this is it, baby,” I told her. “And I want to thank you for your time, your love. It was fun and an honor. You’re a beautiful woman and a great mother. Thank you, sweetheart. Thank you so much. So, goodbye it is. Goodbye, Carmen.”
And that’s how it went.
Two days later she passed with tears coming down her face.
I kissed her cold skin and brushed her face. I kissed her lips and tears fell landing on her neck.
My days haven’t been the same since.
I miss her.
But like my friend reminded me that my days with Carmen were good days. That I still have that. And I do.
But I wish I had a few more.
One more dance.
One more dinner.
One more kiss.
One last play of Layla.
But that’s not possible.
Only in memory.
And that’s all I have now.
This one is for you, Carmen.
I hope I did OK.