Today marks one year since my abuelita, my beloved grandmother, passed away. We affectionately called her viejita, or “old lady,” and she will forever be my Old Lady.
This picture was taken the day she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was in the oncologist department with my aunt and my mother. The doctor explained the diagnosis to me, and I kept it together and asked what her options were, before I explained them to my mother, who would then explain to my aunt. I felt convicted to not have my grandmother go through chemo because the doctor said she was stage IV and that chemo would only make her even more sick.
I told my parents what I thought, and then my dad ultimately made the decision to talk with his siblings about what would be done to make my Old Lady’s last days of life smooth sailing. My poor grandmother knew she was dying, but her biggest fear was going into surgery. We reassured her that she would not have any surgery (as the doctor let us know that it would be futile at this point, since the tumor had taken over her body). My family decided, with my grandmother’s consent, that she would fly back to El Salvador. We didn’t wish to frighten her, so we didn’t tell her it was cancer. She was already in her mid to late 90s, and she kept telling us she was making peace with the Lord if He were to take her life soon.
So we planned a special day where all of our family in the Bay Area could go visit her and say their final goodbye without it feeling like it was the last goodbye. She was very happy and it melted my heart to see her so at peace with everyone.
Some of the last things my grandmother said to me were the following:
"I can’t wait to see you graduate from college and see you up there with your title and all." Unfortunately my grandmother wasn’t able to be at my graduation, but I can’t stop thinking about how proud she would have been of me.
And because she was a feisty woman even in her last days, her final words to me before I kissed her goodbye were “Don’t get yourself a boyfriend,” to which I sarcastically responded with “Don’t worry about that. That’s not a problem for me.”
I loved my Old Lady. She was and will continue to be my number one role model. She was a strong, independent and brave woman. And she loved her family and God more than anything in the world. I was told that she died peacefully singing hymns. That was my only prayer to God, that when He called her home, she’d go peacefully.
I deal best with family loss from a distance. When I was informed that she’d passed, many of my family members started heading their way to El Salvador for the funeral. I couldn’t go for financial reasons, I was in the midst of midterms during my final semester in school, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to handle seeing my grandmother being buried. So I mourned from afar. And I think I’ve done well.
What I love the most about this picture is that it expresses the kind of person my grandmother was. We were in a clinic, asking one of the doctors to prescribe a strong pain medication that would keep her at bay until she’d leave to El Salvador. I told her I was taking a picture, and even though she was in a lot of pain, she still managed to make a funny face for me. She was amazing. And she is loved forever.
"If you want to keep me, you’ve gotta love me harder…"
I personally cannot STAND Ariana Grande. But I like her music. Her voice can be a little bit too much at times, but like I said, I like her music. I like music with catchy and fun beats, but also with well-written and relatable lyrics. Every now and then Top 40 America shells out phenomenal songs. And in my opinion, this is one of them.
The reason why I really like this song is because it has a catchy beat, good vocals, and lyrics that I like to say can be interpreted in different ways. Her last song, “Break Free” is also like that. While most people assume that it’s about breaking up with a guy (which is totally valid), in interviews she has stated that the song “Break Free” is about breaking free of her insecurities. So I think it’s fair to say that this song is also similar in that way.
If you only hit the surface of this song, you might think it’s either about “love” or sex. And those are fair interpretations. If you listen to the lyrics more carefully, there is so much more you can take from it. I personally love this song because I can relate to it, in a way. At least from her perspective. The line, “if you want to keep me, [sic] love me harder” to me means that it takes a whole lot more for me to be that vulnerable with someone. There are things I am comfortable with but to actually feel a connection with someone, I need to feel that security that it’s not just a temporary thing.
And I even like The Weeknd’s addition about letting his intentions be known from the start. Whether two consensual people have decided to get into something casual or into something more serious, it’s only fair to be honest and sincere with each other as a way of being considerate AND respectful of one another. And I like that!
So in my opinion, this is one of those Top 40 exceptions. Nice song, nice vocals, even nicer and honest lyrics.
In my opinion, this video was tastefully and beautifully made. Not to mention I love her style, her voice, and this song. Paloma Faith is my spirit animal!
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.Romans 8:28
When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.Ephesians 4:26
Test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.1 Thessalonians 5:21
I don’t want to complain too much, but tomorrow marks the first day since graduating from college that I can finally take a breather. Shoot, even just the past month has been hectic! After surviving the purgatory that is post-grad job hunting and finally landing on the start line of my career, I have been keeping myself busy with odd jobs, dr & other appointments, all sorts of errands and commitments on weekends. And tomorrow, I can finally rest. So here’s to me!