Her name is Milagros, which means miracle. That’s what she was. Back when I used to live in the U.S. Virgin Islands, my doctor told me that I needed to have a hysterectomy because of some other issues. Then the weekend before surgery, my young doctor had a heart attack and died. Right there and then I decided no surgery for me. After some time, Milagros’ father and I moved to New York City and making the long story short, look what happened over a year after we arrived in New York.
She was the most beautiful baby ever. Big black penetrating eyes. So much black thick hair. That’s one comment one of the nurses said as soon as she arrived into this world. The picture above is one of my favorite photos of her. Isn’t she just a doll?
She has always been very competitive and challenges anything and everything that doesn’t make sense to her. When she was a little girl, she learned to play the clarinet on her own. When she got to middle school, she asked her music teacher what she needed to do to win the top award at the end of the year. She called me at the office and told me exactly what “we” needed to do for her to win that award. Her first significant award was the Presidential Academic Fitness Award when she was a sixth grader. She went on to win many more award in math, music, and any other thing she set her mind to do. Yes, she won the award at the end of that year.
Why is she my other fearless leader? When playing sports, a little bit of blood coming out of her nose would not stop her from continuing to play. I have to admit that my telling her to go back there and continue playing that she was going to be ok helped her to continue playing.
She was always challenging, on middle and high school orchestras for first seat, in the clarinet session. I remember one day she asked me for help in algebra. Remember, I was totally absent from any knowledge of the sciences of math. I looked at the book, analyze it, then told her I was going to get some water, that I would be back, but instead I got on my knees in my bedroom and implore the good God to pleaseeeeeeee help her. I was in absolute darkness about algebra. A few minutes went by and she said, “mami, don’t worry, I figured it out.” Praise the Lord!
She has a very analytical mind. She says that life is like algebra. You have some parts of the equation, you just need to find the missing factor. What? But she is right.
If ever she has had any fears, she hides them very well. She is very confident. In Paris, she took one look at the Google maps, and folded them and said to me “let’s go this way, it will put us there.” She also said, “Washington D.C. was modeled after Paris, so there is a lot of rotundas that converge in one place. She was right all the time. Also, I have learned from her to follow the signs. The signs are your friend she told me at the Charles De Gaulle Airport. Right again. She is a great listener. I am always half listening and half on another planet, I think like most us.
On my 61st birthday, that morning at the hotel in Paris, I got up first and went to the bathroom and I thought I heard a knock on the door. I told her not to bother that probably it was for the room next door. When I came out of the bathroom there was a silver tray with a bottle of champagne and two glasses. Life does not get any better than having champagne in Paris even before you have breakfast on your 61st birthday, or any birthday. She had ordered the whole thing the night before without my knowing. That’s one of the unforgettable moments my Milagros has made possible for me to make my life worth remembering. Whenever I am in a Nursing Home, I have lots of great memories to keep me good company.
In conclusion, what most impresses me about my-city daughter is that she recovers from challenges and comes back even stronger than before. We all need someone to look up to whenever we need some motivation, and Milagros is certainly one of those people.
She was my inspiration in starting a blog. Without her motivation and her “I can do anything I set my mind to do” attitude you would not be reading this right now. We would have never met. That’s a terrible thing to think. I always think, if Milagros can do it, so can I. We feed on each other’s strong qualities.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been moments of great disagreements of the way she sees and does things and the way I do. But that’s the way things are between moms and daughters. Remember the sweatshirt you gave me Milagros? I still have it. You painted on it “I am the Mom.”
I love you sweetheart and thank you for the memories. All of them. I remember when you used to tell me, “mami, in the grandeur scheme of things, this bad moment is going to be so insignificant compared to the whole picture of our lives.” Si, Oui, Yes.
Thank you for allowing me to send my daughter a love note. Let’s not take each other for granted.
Milagros and me at Le Grand Colbert Restaurant in Paris, celebrating my birthday.
Your Happy Contessa