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Sharing with Great-Grandparents

Written by Gabriela Garcia Calderon Orbe · Translated by Gabriela García Calderón On 22 June 2014 @ 6:00 am | No Comments

In Argentina, Citizen Media, Ideas, Latin America, Quick Reads, Spanish

On the website OhLaLá!, Inés Saínz remembers her great grandmother [1] on her blog De la mamá (From mom) and reflects on inter-generational sharing now that she is a mother of two:

La manera que la nonna tenía de demostrar cariño era a través de la comida. Ahí sí se excedía. Podía pasarse horas en la cocina, amasando, cortando los tallarines con cuchillo, preparando la salsa de tomate. Era tan generosa con los condimentos como con las cantidades.
[...]
Paso todos los días por la puerta del edificio de la nonna y más de una vez pienso: qué fácil sería tocarle el portero. Cómo me comería un plato de tallarines con tuco. Cómo me gustaría volver a internarme en su departamento sólo para curiosear aquellos adornos de cerámica, entre angelicales y aniñados. Y abrir los cajones para robarle caramelos.
[...]
Pero hay distancias que no se resuelven con un viaje. Distancias que anulan toda posibilidad de encuentro, de un encuentro humano, palpable, sabroso, incluso incómodo.
Hay distancias que me obligan a recordarme: No dejes de alimentar el intercambio de tus hijas con su bisabuela… ahora que ella está. Acá. Acá nomás. A 40 minutos de colectivo o auto. Casi a la vuelta.

The way Granny had to show off her love was through food. There she outdid herself. She could spend hours in the kitchen, mixing, cutting the noodles with a knife, preparing tomato sauce. She was as generous with condiments as she was with the portions.
[...]
I pass her building entrance every day, and more than once I think: It would be so easy to knock on the door. I would eat a dish of noodles with tomato sauce. How I'd loved to enter her apartment once again just to have a peak at those ceramics ornaments, between angelic and childish. And open the drawers to take candy.
[...]
But some distances can't be solved with a trip. Distances that annul any possibility of a reunion, a human encounter, palpable, tasty, even awkward.
There are distances that make me remember. Don't stop nourishing your daughters’ exchange with their great-grandma…  now that she is around. Here. Right here. Just 40 minutes away on a bus or car. Almost around the corner.


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[1] remembers her great grandmother: http://www.revistaohlala.com/1693245-a-la-vuelta

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