After I became a young woman my mother began recalling stories of her life. She had told me some stories before but these took on a more serious tone: the fire that burned her house down; the depression; the war, etc. The harsh experiences in her life gave her a wisdom few people possess, and from time to time she dispensed some of her ideas to me.
She was a quiet woman, kind, reflective, involved in her children’s lives but never intrusive. Yet some of the words she uttered displayed a depth I never understood as a child. “Children need to be allowed to be children,” she said one day. That is why she was not harsh with us, why she seemed lenient. She didn’t want to deprive us of our childhood.
Another time she said, “Don’t return that gift your husband gave you. It may never come your way again.” I kept the silver object and still love it to this day.
And after she needed special care she said, “Don’t spend the night here with me. I’ll be all right. You belong with your husband. Go back home.” This time I disobeyed her, but shortly thereafter we found someone to spend weekends with her so I could be with my family.
Even after she became ill she thought of others first. Her last words to me which I shall always treasure: “Que Dios te cuide, hija.” (May God take care of you, daughter.) And He has.