There are people who are so influential in your life that you miss them every day. My mom was such a person, but so was her mom, my grandmother Nieves. I’m actually named after her since my real first name is Caridad de las Nieves, but when I was naturalized I had to change that to Caridad and Nieves became my middle name.
My mom was a working mom so my grandma was the one who was home for us, made dinner, chased after us to clean up and all-in-all, provided us with stability and wonderful stories of growing up in Spain and her life in Cuba. She was a strong woman in more ways than one. She survived going from Spain to Cuba and then to the U.S. She survived the loss of a son at an early age (she never talked about this) and the premature loss of my mom. She was stubborn and had a temper, but luckily my grandfather was a saint. But she always loved us and took care of us and we knew we could count on her to be there for us.