Memories: Patience

Memories: Patience


My favorite photo of my grandmother or “Vava” as I called her

I want to share a memory with you about my grandmother. Her name was Norbina. I think I am comfortable saying she had the biggest influence on me in my formative years. To this day I still look up to her. She and my grandfather helped in raising myself, my older brother and older cousin while our parents were at work.

I’ll never forget when my cousin started school. He was a year ahead of me so It was my one year with just me and my grandparents until he got back in the afternoon. My grandfather had not yet retired at this time so really, it was just me and my grandmother. I have one specific special memory from this time. On this particular day we made Portuguese biscuits together. It is a wonderful memory that I will never forget. My ever patient grandmother allowed me to shape my own biscuits. I remember, hers were perfectly round beautiful little things, and mine, well, they were messy and misshapen. But – I’ll never forget the pride on her face as she put both mine and her biscuits in the oven.

I don’t remember eating them, I don’t remember anything else about that day. Just my grandmother’s demeanor. She always had so much love and patience with me. I am so thankful for her early influence in my life. She showed me what gracefulness was. I had never met a person who didn’t like my grandmother and I have yet to meet anyone quite like her. Looking back, I have now been alive longer without her than with her and its a sad thought. But the lessons she taught me, the qualities she instilled in me by simply BEING there, being herself will never leave me.

I want my own daughter to have the kind of memories with me that I have with my grandmother. I want her to remember me as patient and accepting of all that she is. And some days, chasing after a strong-willed, full of life and endless energy having toddler can be tough! Tough as hell.

But I remember my grandmother.

A woman who in the 1960s traveled to a new country alone to work and bring back money to her family. Who with my grandfather raised 6 kids, eventually immigrated from their small poverty-stricken island home to the United States on a loan of good faith. She worked in factories. She suffered having nerves in her leg damaged by a surgery that should have resulted in a malpractice suit, and wound up needing to walk with a cane the last decade or two of her life. She went through so many trials and yet, you would never know it. She never came across to me as someone who was hardened by life and the struggles it brought her. I just saw

Patience. Calmness. Sweetness.

She taught me that you can be tough as hell while also being soft. That was the energy she radiated.

To this day she is my hero and I am so thankful for all that she taught me.


“There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart” – Jane Austen

One thought on “Memories: Patience

  1. I love every word of this. God bless and thank you for sharing this memory of your querida avo. She would be proud of you I’m sure.

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