Braided Memories/ Recuerdos Trenzados


Just like she used to do when I was five and she would fuss over not leaving a single hair out of place. It was an empowering moment for her and it brought back a few memories for me. My mom braided my hair today.
As the second oldest of five sisters, she’s had lots of practice. And then she had me, of course.
With so many memories lost to her, and so many soon to be lost, it was comforting to see how a simple gesture brought about a change in her. She was back to being in charge. She was back to being the mother taking care of her little girl.
For a few minutes, we were both back in a place where things were simpler. She was the boss and I was a little girl. She still thinks she’s the boss. I still think I’m a little girl. Reality proves us both wrong at every turn.
With every movement of her hands, I recalled the many times she’d done things for me, the many times we’d argued and also that this would not happen many more times.
Every day, I say goodbye to the strong, powerful woman that was my mother a little bit more and welcome this new version, frail and funny, sometimes petulant, always surprising.
If her memories fade, I will remember them for both of us.

Igual que cuando tenía cinco años y se esmeraba por no dejar un pelo fuera de sitio. Fue un momento de empoderamiento para ella y me trajo recuerdos a mí. Mi madre me hizo una trenza hoy.
Fue la segunda de cinco hermanas, así que tuvo práctica. Y después me tuvo a mí.
Con tantos recuerdos perdidos para ella y tantos a punto de perderse, fue reconfortante ver como un gesto sencillo la hizo cambiar. Ella volvía a estar al mando. Ella volvía a ser la madre cuidando de su hijita.
Durante unos minutos, ambas volvimos a estar en un lugar donde todo era más simple. Ella aún cree que está al mando. Yo aún creo que soy una niña. La vida nos demuestra a ambas lo equivocadas que estamos a cada instante.
Con cada movimiento de sus manos, me acordaba de la cantidad de cosas que había hecho por mí, de todas las veces que habíamos discutido y también que esto no pasaría en muchas más ocasiones.
Cada día me despido un poco más de la enérgica y fuerte mujer que fue mi madre y le doy la bienvenida a esta nueva versión, frágil y graciosa, a veces petulante y siempre sorprendente.
Si sus recuerdos se borran, yo me acordaré por las dos.

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