Back in High School and College when I used to do drama, I would sometimes try to eke out tears or melancholy emotions by thinking of the saddest thing I could. Wednesday that “saddest thing” happened, my great-grandmother died. My parents called me that night and I caught a flight to Louisiana shortly after midnight. Irma (eed-ma) Sosa was born in Cuba in 1912, but no one called her that. Everyone called her Mima, which means “mother.” It was a very apt name. Mima only spoke Spanish and a handful of English words. She also spoke a silent language, an ancient language everyone can understand. Everyone who met Mima loved her, whether they could understand her or not. She was a saucy old lady and a prankster known to brandish a broom like a billy club. She had almost no belongings, anything she owned she would give to someone else. She made the best black beans on Earth and she always made sure everyone had something to eat. Joy for her was making everyone else happy. Nothing I can say here can even begin to do her justice. Everything I like best about myself came from Mima. I’ll always miss that old lady. I’ll miss her hobbling in like Yoda at Christmas time with a big grin on her face. I’ll miss hearing her call me “Yason” and my uncle “Estebey.” If everyone could be a little bit like Mima, the Earth would be paradise.
Things will never be the same.