Abuelito lindo

I feel honored to have had grandparents well into my adult life, mi abuelito lived to the ripe age of 96 and his loss was both difficult and inspiring.  The gratitude for his presence in my life is one that brings me emotion on every level.  When I think of the fact that he arrived to the United States at the age of 59 in part by choice in, and in part by feeling that there was no other choice at the time.  Starting over is part of life for all of us, yes, but during that era to think of moving his family and his own roots is always amazing to me and yet it was a privilege to have this opportunity.

My own children observe this very special connection that I had of listening to my grandfather talk about in his years as a roller skating champion. He spoke of that with the same passion that he described it to me of playing the bongo that he explored being on an island of much passion, rhythm and vibrancy. Abuelo was a good father, provider, and husband to my grandmother for 75 years.  During the loss of my own father, mi abuelito was an introspective and supportive force in the transitions that followed projecting simplicity and kindness during a time where he was also in pain.   His birthday just passed and I felt compelled to reach out to him, remembering him teaching me about auto mechanics: how to change a tire and spark plugs.  I also remember his passion for reusing and recycling everything.  When I last saw him living he was talking to me as if I was his daughter, my mother, and reminiscing about riding to Havana on his motorcycle.  My daughter was an infant at the time so we took her in the sidecar for a ride in his story and it was a lovely day.

I miss my him, but he is with me forever really.  Abuelo was always here for me, the ride I always needed in a pinch, always motivating punctuality — he always arrived on time in order to remind me of this.  One day stands out when my schedule shifted and we had to be slightly earlier for a train that I needed to be on. Strangely, he overslept and my alarm was the sound of his 1974 blue Chevy Nova. I did not hear my alarm clock and did not wake up and then there was the famous horn sound that was indicative of his persona, forever in the minds of anyone who experienced his lifespan.

I remember moving double time, racing, grabbing all needed items and him stepping on it to be sure I was on that train. We drove right up to the door — it was just in time — I got on the train and he waved with great confidence, because he did save the day!

Yoga is a humbling experience for many, at least those that gives it a chance as a healing agent.  Many see it as strictly exercise, which is fine.  My experience is a profusion of benefits: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  Others are convinced there are some sorts of cultish activities going on,but for the most part,asana practice is getting on your mat to move your body in a mindful way and shift some energy around.

As faced with changes in life, whether loss, joy, angst or surprise, yoga teaches us acceptance, patience, awareness and presence in order to appreciate moments in time.  I sometimes think of yoga as a life preserver that works each time when utilized. It may be different in its effects from day to day, but it always creates an ultimate feeling of responsiveness.


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