This is a letter to my Maternal Grandmother. To my father’s ex wife. To my grandfather’s ex wife. To the woman whose man left her for her first born daughter, his step-daughter. I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you have yet to forgive them for what they have done 30+ years ago. That you have yet to forgive my father even after his death. That you have yet to forgive my mother, who was a teenager when their love began. Im sorry that you hate me and my sister because of what we are. We are your grandchildren and you hate us. I’ve met you once, as a stranger because you still lived in the same building as my aunts did. And there was a myth about you. There was a legend shared between the elders and myself, to never visit your house. But I remember breaking rules because I never trusted tall tales. I met you and I knew you as the vecina and not as my grandmother. Not as my abuela. I didn’t find out about the family secret until my early 20s. Im still in my early 20s but I mean 20-21. I was told over the phone. And it all made sense. But I didn’t look at my parents differently. I didn’t look at my sister or myself differently. All I could ask, all I cared for was you. I wanted to meet you. Formally. Get to know you. I’ve seen photos, I’ve met you twice as the neighbor. Shit I even used to hear about you from my brother/uncle and sister/aunt. But those ties are cut now. Especially for my sister. But my brother, who I consider a brother despite the differences, despite everything, I care for him. I really do. And you abuela, I wish you didn’t hate me. I wish you knew who I was. Not from myths but from fact, I wish you knew who I was. But maybe you would still hate me. And if you did, I would be fine with that. If you really knew me and still hated me I would actually prefer that.
I used to think this story should never be shared. Maybe it shouldn’t. Maybe family would read this and tell my mother and message me on Facebook and whatnot. Maybe. But maybe this is what I need to share, especially today. Because you’ve been on my mind, though faint, you’ve been on my mind. I’m sorry hatred is consuming you and has kept us distant. I’m sorry they hurt you. I’m sorry. But do not judge me for their actions. Do not hold the weight of their decisions against me. The sins of the father are not the sons. Do not judge me on his past deeds. I am my own man. Either judge me by my own merits or do not judge me at all.
I wish you the best Abuela.