Un recuerdo de Magda Dubon-McSparran
I could see my Abuelita Juana from a distance as I walked up the cobblestone street. She stood at the front door of her home with her arms crossed. She was tall and thin. She wore a tailored dress made from a floral fabric that my father sent to her from Los Angeles and, as always, it was wrapped in a thick cable sweater. She wore her long gray hair in a side braid that curled around itself at the tip. Her dress waved in the breeze as I walked closer. She smiled lightly. I kissed her cheek and greeted her as was the custom, and she led me in.
The entry room of the house was sparse with a single chair made of cow hide and a small table where an old rotary phone sat. The scent of dried corn and corn husks greeted me at the door. The sacks rested against the wall along with a bushel of bananas. My uncle must have just stopped by with the feed for her chickens.
We sipped coffee and dipped our pan frances in the courtyard. The air smelled of geraniums, and the sky began to darken. Raindrops started to bang on the tin roof and eventually migrate down the eaves soaking the large cans of Nestle powdered milk she used as flower pots down below. Quickly she stood up and gathered her sun-dried laundry from the clothesline. It was time to go.
We visited every day during the summers, she waited for me at the door, our usual greeting, and coffee already made. And every day I came, and every day I left in wonder…did she love me? She never said.