Although I’m in Mexico today, I still got to enjoy the essence of Thanksgiving with a turkey that our chef beautifully and deliciously prepared for lunch. Mashed potatoes with gravy and what tasted like a stick of butter in each scrumptious bite, stuffing…and our usual Mexican staple: rice and black beans as well as freshly made tortillas and homemade salsas to accompany the meal.
And although a meal without loved ones is not a meal I feel is worth having…I can say that my Thanksgiving feast here was made with love and enjoyed with loved ones: the staff at Playa Viva and the guests (some of whom just arrived yesterday) already feel like family.
I’ve been here for a month and find the presence of the staff here so comforting…and it was apparent for me today when I learned of my 92 year old grandmother’s passing.
I just happened to call my mom & dad’s house this morning to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving and that’s when I received the news. Up until that call, I was spending time with some high school kids who had come in from town to help clean up the beach. I showed them photos of my friends, Los Angeles, Duke the dog, and my gradmother’s photo. I proudly told them she was 92 and lived in Los Angeles. Little did I know I was sharing her memory at the time.
She lived a long life and although she suffered from a few health complications the last 2-3 years, I remember her being a vibrant, sharp, strong-willed, and stylish lady. This may sound funny, but of all things she’s ever told me, this is the one thing that stands out for me most: she said to me (more than once), “Remember this…your health is the most important thing. Make sure you always treat yourself to good quality food and drink. Never be cheap in that department.”
Although I knew it “could be any day now” with her passing, as prepared as I thought I’d be for this news one day, it still does not make the grief any lighter. I miss her already. I’ll miss driving over to her condo in Alhambra, walking through her front door, and seeing her sit in her usual chair…giving her a big hug and kiss on the cheek…being asked if I’m hungry…and sitting down to have dinner with her.
The most important thing for me today in learning about the passing of my grandmother is I know that she knew I loved her. And I know that she loved me. I think that is all we can ask of each other in this lifetime: to show each other, share with each other, and express our love for one another. And if that is the case, then I am very blessed.