I miss the way you always blended two shades of lipstick, leaving bi-colored tips on all of your tubes.
I miss the way you said "Claro" 100 times per phone call.
I miss the way you idolized Vivien Leigh's portrayal of Scarlett O'Hara.
I miss your lasagna, which no Italian would find authentic but we loved anyway, with its mix of ground beef and shredded chicken.
I miss your many shades of hair color, because it was always a surprise when you came home from the hairstylist's.
I miss how you made friends everywhere you went, and how loyal a friend you were -- even to people who didn't deserve you -- until your dying day.
I miss your beautiful, precise cursive handwriting.
I miss your phone messages and hate that AT & T Wireless auto-erased my last message from you.
I miss the way you forwarded every email anyone ever sent you.
I miss the way you talked to and adored my children.
I miss the way my children talked to and adored you.
I miss the way you would warn me that a wife has a responsibility to keep herself beautiful for her husband, even though it annoyed me.
I miss how you would make everyone wait for you to freshen up and take off your glasses before we could take family photos.
I miss how you would bug me about not wearing makeup, even after I had actually applied it.
I miss how you kept all of your jewelry in its original little boxes stashed in dozens of drawers and bags.
I miss the way your feet were the opposite of mine -- so small and narrow and with high arches.
I miss your insistence on a regular manicure to disguise the fact you had fragile nails.
I miss how you saved shopping bags, especially the fancy kind with ribbon handles, "just in case" you needed somewhere else to store your stuff.
I miss how you sang "Duermete niño/niña, duermete ya" to all the babies.
I miss staying up into the wee hours talking and watching TV with you.
I miss the way you dished about everyone you knew, not (usually) to be mean, just to let me know what was going on.
I miss your friends calling and asking about you.
I miss getting reminded about important events now that the responsibility has fallen to me.
I miss the way you would sigh "Ay, Hans!" whenever Hans said something crude or stupid or silly.
I miss your throaty laugh.
I miss having a reason to shop in the "Petites" section with you.
I miss your love of potato-bread rolls and seasoned white rice.
I miss watching '60s movies like "Where the Boys Are" and "Rosemary's Baby" with you.
I miss you criticizing the Oscars fashions.
I miss your countless chancletas, some beaded, some Chinese, others ballet style.
I miss being yelled at for not dressing the kids warmly enough.
I miss how fearless you were in every situation.
I miss how you weren't afraid to make a scene when you deemed circumstances demanded it.
I miss your arepas and doubt mine will ever come out the same.
I miss your platanos and think of them every time we eat Latin American food.
I miss your picadillo and can't stand when someone makes theirs too sweet, because yours was so savory and chock-full of olives.
I miss the way I felt safe in your slender arms, even though I had been (much) bigger than you since I was 10 year old.
I miss the way you lost your glasses so much, because you refused to wear them regularly.
I miss your illogical inability to drink anything but instant Nescafé.
I miss the way you kept us connected to our first cousins, second cousins, third cousins and beyond.
I miss seeing your puffy coat out of the corner of my eye, knowing it was way too warm for it, but that you'd be too cold without it.
I miss the way you would get excited every time your father's beloved British National Anthem was played, even though you really only knew the "God Save the Queen" part.
I miss catching you curled up in bed with Elias, because even after we'd returned him to his bed, he'd go to yours.
I miss living in New York with you.
I miss hearing about your life in Colombia before you had kids.
I miss telling you about my kids' accomplishments and antics.
I miss listening to your end of dozens of phone calls every day and trying to figure out with whom you were gabbing.
I miss how you could fall deeply asleep in the tiniest of spaces without moving an inch.
I miss how you were the one-woman grapevine for my siblings and me.
I miss being comforted by you.
I miss knowing you were out there, worrying about me and mine.
I miss being told the backstories behind old photos.
I miss calling you two or three times a day.
I miss you stroking my arm when I sat next to you.
I miss being assured I was a good a mother.
I miss being assured I had great children.
I miss the way you and Hans always got along like old friends.
I miss hearing the phone ring after 10PM and feeling certain it was you on the other end.
I miss the loud and annoying toys you loved to buy the kids.
I miss telling you what was going on in the lives of your favorite celebrities.
I miss going to see a sappy tearjerker with you.
I miss how you had to drink orange juice every morning.
I miss being called "Mamita."
I miss the way you always smelled like Opium, Passion or L'Air du Temps.
I miss having a mother.