Two days ago I almost got in a car accident. I was making a right turn at an intersection I drive by at least four times a day. It's about one mile away from my house, right in front a townhouse development. As I made the turn, I saw a grandmother with the same short and curly hairstyle and unnaturally purplish brown dye job Mami used to sport occasionally. The Abuelita was holding hands with her sundress-wearing young granddaughter, smoothing down her hair and fixing a bow that adorned the little girl's locks.
Staring at the tender scene between the petite grandmother and her preschool-aged granddaughter, I veered too far to the right and nearly crashed into a parked car. I corrected my course at the last possible second, and then I started to cry -- not only because I'd nearly rear-ended the sedan, but because that Abuelita reminded me so much of my mother. For the briefest of seconds my heart had sped up at the thought of her, the image of her touching my own daughter's hand, of her making sure my girl looked her best -- just like the grandmother on the sidewalk.
So I cried the rest of the short ride home, out of sadness that my daughter, who is in so many ways just like my mother, doesn't get to experience that love and attention from Mami. She does have a wonderful grandmother, a NaNa who loves and spoils her dearly, but it's just not the same, and it still hurts to be reminded of that loss.