The reach of a small moment

I am beyond thrilled to have my lovely friend, The Empress, from Good Day, Regular People, as this week’s Small Moments Mondays guest poster.

I initially met The Empress when she left her first thoughtful comment on my blog this past summer. I was immediately struck by her kindness.  I promptly visited her blog and realized that she’s incredibly funny.  As I continued to read her words, I learned that she is also both strong and tender.

I was at brunch recently with a group of lovely bloggy friends and at one point during our meal, the conversation turned to The Empress.  It was as though a collective happy sigh came over the group when her name came up. Words like supportive, kind, funny, generous, loving, encouraging, and amazing floated about the table. The Empress is truly a hug personified.

The story that she has written for Small Moments Mondays is a precious gift.  When I first read it, I felt guilty about accepting it and was tempted to encourage her hold onto it, to keep it close and post it on her own blog.

This post is that special.

Ultimately, I trusted that she truly believed that she had found a good home for her story and for that I am incredibly honored.

Thank you, Empress.  I am so grateful for your generosity and friendship. Much love to you.

The Reach of a Small Moment – by The Empress

De la Sierra Morena
Cielito Lindo, vienen bajando
Un par do ojitos negros
Cielito lindo, de contrabando

From the Sierra Mountains
My beautiful sky, they come down
A pair of blackest eyes
Pretty little heaven, which I cannot have

I am sitting cross legged on the carpeted floor, playing with the doll my Spanish grandmother has bought me. She is sitting behind me, singing softly while she slowly runs a wide toothed comb, that she every now and then dips into a mason jar of rhubarb water, through my jungle of curly almost black hair. She sings this song to me every time she combs my hair. Always, so patiently, she works her way through the mat of hair on my head. The song above, if you’ve never heard it, has a sweet, slow, lulling melody.

The intention of the rhubarb water, boiled down to a thick juice made out of what she grows in her garden, is to give highlights to my hair. “Now, when you go outside to play in the sun, your hair will turn into Shirley Temple rings,” I hear her promise me in Spanish. She is taking the smallest sections of my hair, wetting it with the rhubarb water, and then curling it around her little finger. When she is done, I do look like a latin Shirley Temple.

She asks me with her soft, slow voice to please help her up, if it’s not too much trouble, from where she has been sitting. My grandmother speaks to me with the utmost of manners, always. I am only 4, but she makes me feel as if she is part of a court of ladies that tend to me. My grandmother walks me to the mirror in the front hallway, and stands behind me while she has me look at myself.  “Those dark eyes, you have such beautiful dark eyes. And the most wonderful laugh. You are like a little doll, you are a munequita.”  I smile shyly back at myself. She makes me believe her.

There is peace at my grandmother’s hand, and in her arms. She embraces me and I am lost to everything that is the ugly mess around me. Everything that happens outside of her arms is gone in that moment of being in her embrace. I want to stay between those arms, with my head buried and my eyes closed, and my ears covered, all inside her arms.

As I  am writing this morning, about these small moments in our lives, I can see from the distance of years, the power a moment contains.  The morning retold above occurred in 1965, 2 years before my father would have committed suicide on Thanksgiving Day, when I was in the first grade. The morning above occurred on a day when my clinically depressed mother would have spent another usual day of not looking at us, not making eye contact with us, not speaking to us.

The power of the small moment that my grandmother created for me, without her knowing, has carried me to this day. I still feel how she had me convinced that even though there were 6 of us born to my mother, it was me, who was the special one. It was me who was the most loved one.

She had the gift of making you feel like you were the only one that mattered.

When she passed away, my siblings and I had to laugh as one by one, at her funeral, we each confided to one another, “You know, I was her favorite.”  Fools, I knew deep down it was me who was loved the most by her.

I found the song above, “Cielito Lindo,” on YouTube this morning, and played it. I can be so slow sometimes, I should have known. I had to click on the red X in the top right corner after only the second verse. I couldn’t listen to more, the emotion brought on by hearing that melody with those lyrics was so strong that the tightening in my throat literally became physically painful.

Did my grandmother know she created this small moment? I don’t know. Did she know that from this morning in 1965, I’d be writing of that same moment in 2010, 45 years later?

Would she have known the reach of a small moment?

This makes me stop and think and look at my children, with eye contact, and with words heard, and with words returned, with full burying embraces, I want to give my children moments that will reach to the year 2050 and beyond.

Now that you’ve seen just how amazing The Empress is, be sure to read some of my favorite funny posts, Fresh Pots! and When Someone You Love Has a Blog, Parts 1, 2, and 3.

And don’t miss Yield to It, a post that speaks to all of the small moments in our lives.


  1. I *literally* have tears in my eyes! You had me at the love & friendship in the introduction and completely blew me away with the tenderness and nostalgia of this post. Seriously beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it with me! (Did I just write that?! But I really do feel like it was written just for me! That's how powerful it is!) Well done ladies! Well done, indeed!

  2. Natalie

    Love. What more is there to say? The Empress is such an amazing, supportive woman and if you don't know her, please introduce yourself to her. She truly is The Empress of our blogging community!

    And to The Empress: I can sing most of Cielito Lindo. In Spanish. And I do…very often to my children. It's a beautiful song and I often get tears in my eyes from singing it!

  3. @2old2tap

    This is one of the most beautiful remembrances I have read.
    What a wonderful moment to cherish. About having been cherished.

  4. MelissaDrMom

    Wow. A beautiful and meaningful moment captured with such heart and honesty. Thank you for sharing Alexandra.

    The Empress really is like a "hug personified".

  5. Alexandra174

    Oh my goodness.

    I just don't know what to say to the incredible introduction you've provided, Nichole, and for the honor of being asked to guest post for this series.

    If I were with you now, you'd see the tears glistening in my eyes.

    Thank you so much. You don't know what your words, and the words of the gracious commenters here, mean to a soul like mine.

    You are a blessing in my life. Everyone here is a blessing to me.

    Thank you.

  6. Alexandra174

    Natalie!! How can that be? Call me, sing to me, would you? I'd love it.

  7. Alexandra174

    That is a perfect word. I wish I would've thought of that for the post: cherished. That's exactly how my Abuelita made me, and each of my siblings feel.

    Thank you for your kind, kind words. They mean a lot to me.

  8. Alexandra174

    Thank you, DrMom. This comment here means so much, since I know both you and I see eye to eye on this mothering gig and the short time we're given with these little souls.

    Thank you.

  9. What a beautiful moment. A wonderful reminder that it doesn't take much to create such a special memory. I hope that my children can have these types of memories of our times together and not just remember the times that mommy yelled or frowned at them. It makes me want to be a better mom.

  10. Tracie

    I really honestly don't have a comment that will do justice to this beautifully written moment in your life. But in my heart, I feel that I must say something…I must find the words to express how this story has moved me.

    Some of what you shared are things that I didn't know about your life. Things that have helped make you the incredibly strong, compassionate woman you are (I know you are because it shines through your writing and your comments and interactions). I think about those days when I feel the depression settle over me like a blanket…..and I realize that I must be stronger than I have been. I must provide my daughter with more moments like these to carry through her life with her.

  11. Roxane

    To me, this story encompasses everything that Small Moments Mondays are all about.

    What a beautiful, touching story. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. With us. I have to say that I am inspired to find more small moments in my life and in my children's simply because you remembered this moment in such exquisite detail so many years later. I can only hope my children have memories of me that will stand the test of time like this one did for you.

    Just perfect.

    Love you.

  12. Angel

    OK first of all thank you Empress for showing me a blog that is sorely missing on my blog roll.. Secondly, absolutely beautiful. I think of how many children, especially today, may not have gotten to grow up with the unconditional love one finds in the presence of their Memaw's and I am saddened. I miss mine terribly many years later.Like you , she was the one stable constant in my young life.

  13. Kelly

    I am literally crying in my cup of coffee.
    I may have written this to you before, but after reading this memory, I do love you more with each post I read. You are a special soul….

  14. brian

    nice empress…you know we never know the power of a moment to someone…for them your small gesture may mean the world while to you its inconsequential…thats why each one matters…

  15. Alexandra174

    Thank you, Shell. I've been to your blog so many times, and have read so very many posts and can see how much you love your children. You guard them with all you've got. Please don't just see the bad, because I can tell you right now how many posts come to mind that you've written showing just how present you are in their lives.

  16. Alexandra174

    Thank you, Tracie. You and I share some things from our lives together, and it is that history that makes us who we are. You are right, my grandmother is with me to this day. I still say good morning and good night to her, when I first get in and out of bed. Because of all the moments she gave me, this is just one of them. I could write a book on the moments she gave me.

  17. Alexandra174

    Thank you, Roxane. My Abuelita gave me so many more moments than I have the space here to tell about. She made everything a moment, breakfast, bathtime, reading time…it was all so special. Every day I felt like I was a queen. Everyday. Even with all the junk going on around me. Incredible, isn't it? Thank you, so much, again, your words are beyond priceless.

  18. Alexandra174

    Hi, Angel. How wonderful to see you here. Yes, you will absolutely love Nichole's place, and her Monday Special Moments. As I said, they are "centering." It is so good to see you here. And thank you.

  19. You have summed up our Empress perfectly. It speaks volumes when an entire table of bloggers gives up a "happy, collective sigh" at the utterance of her name. She is and will always be my fairy blogmother.

    And Empress, you and I have discussed our sad, collective memories of a dysfunctional mother, but it never ceases to amaze me, how you rose above the ashes of this broken, traumatic childhood, to become this just lovely, beautiful perfect mother and human being.

    This piece was you Empress, at your best, tender, sweet, poignant with that survivor spirit just shining through your words.

  20. Alexandra174

    Oh, thank you, special Kelly. You know the special friend you are becoming to me. Yes, lots of bad in my life. But my grandmother made every day such a shelter. Even with the madness of my mother and father's mental illness, somehow all I remember is how I felt as if I were made out of gold. It was how she treated me. How she treated all 6 of us. She is a book unto herself. Thank you so much.

  21. Alexandra174

    Brian, I know you live like this. With all your writing, I know the care you give to your wife and boys. They will have special moments beyond measure when they think of you.

    Thank you for always being so faithful with my guest posts. You've given me many special moments with your support since I began blogging. And also with your care of Baby E's posts. Thank you so much.

  22. Alexandra174

    Oh, Joann, thank you beyond words. I know, the tragic unhappy homes we had that no child has had. You and I both broke that cycle. I know you definitely have stopped it and left it where it was: the past.

    So perfect to see you here, and read your kind words.

    To think we didn't even know each other a year ago. Incredible. Merry Christmas, wonderful lady. To you and your gorgeous girls.

  23. This is absolutely beautiful and makes me realize that there are truly angels walking around on the earth, finding hearts that need love and hope. I will hold my beautiful little ones more closely today and hope that they feel that love the way you felt the love of your grandmother that day (and I'm sure every time she was near you!)

  24. Alicia

    What an incredible memory recreated for us. It makes you stop and think about the little things that we take for granted. After reading this, it makes me want to try and be more conscious of my actions and how they will be remembered. And to hug the ones we love a little bit tighter.

  25. Marian

    oh, Alexandra, i am so pleased to meet your grandmother (your abuela?). your story is so beautiful and i feel quite honored to have the opportunity to meet her and to meet the little child in you. sigh. gorgeous and thank you. and love you.
    and also, rhubarb water?? who knew!

  26. Ms. Moon

    I am now a grandmother and I know that she did love each of you the most. It is so comforting to me to think that the love I have for my grandchild may well be something he carries with him in some deep pocket of his heart for his entire life.
    This was so lovely, this post. A small moment that lives forever.

  27. SquashedMom

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful, gentle, powerful memory with us, Alexandra. Such moments and the memories thereof can be talismans that guide us and keep us safe in even the blackest of soul-nights.

    Everyone should have someone who loves them in their childhood. That your parents were so dysfunctional is tragic, but clearly you were saved by the way your Abuelita loved you, that she showed you how to love, planted the kernel of knowledge in you that love is possible. And it makes me so deeply sad that some of us did not ever have even that for a moment.

    Love to you, you twinkling, love-spreading star, you. To you and your family, who glow in the light of your Abuelita's love, through you.

  28. sherrikuhn

    This is just so lovely, I'm not even sure where to begin. Your grandmother left such a lasting impression in your life, a young life that needed someone just like her. And your love for your children always shines through in your writing, and now I know where some of that love comes from.

    This is a beautiful tribute to her, and I can't think of a better place to give it a voice and a home.

  29. Oh Alex…so, so lovely.

    Sometimes I think my brain is wired to remember the painful better than the sweet. I have to dig hard for these memories, yet I know I must have them.

    I'm so glad this one is so very clear for you.

  30. Alexandra, I always enjoy your writing but none as much as the one's that are windows to your soul. What a beautiful tribute to your Grandmother, what a special woman she was, your compassionate soul is filled with her love and understanding.
    And Nichole, you are a new and precious find, thank you!
    (btw I told my husband that he was having a date with yours in their matching shirts)
    And thank you to all of the bloggers that have commented here, in the last week I have witnessed a side of blogging that has warmed my soul. I realised its more than putting my random thoughts out in the blogosphere, because real people show love back, they read deeper and understand, people that I have never laid eyes on, have become my friends …

  31. Yuliya

    I have absolutely no doubt that you have filled your children's lives with a multitude of moments, small and big. No doubt at all.

  32. Cheryl @ Mommypants

    You made me cry this morning, Alexandra. Beautifully written, I was taken to that small moment with your grandmother. And I think she would be so proud to know how much she touched you, and how much it has affected how you are with your own children. What a precious gift. Thank you so much for sharing.

  33. Alexandra174

    Thank you, Angela. Love to a child is as important and necessary as food and water. I can't even think of what I'd be like now if it weren't for my grandmother's love for me.

  34. Alexandra174

    You are so right, Alicia. That is what I wanted to say. The way my grandmother took care of us was just the way she was. And without her, my siblings and I would have been a sorry lot. So happy you stopped by, thank you.

  35. Pop

    Nichole, seriously. You should do something about the sawdust on your blog. And Alexandra? She brings her fair share of sawdust too.

    What a lovely small moment.

  36. Alexandra174

    Marian, thank you so much for being here. I've wanted to introduce you to my grandmother so many times, but my emails would get longer and longer. Every interaction she had with us was a memorable one. I don't know how she did it. She'd write poetry for us, too, and we'd come home from school, and she'd say, "listen, I wrote you a poem today." I have to stop now, I'm about to cry. I'm so happy you are here today.

  37. Alexandra174

    Ms Moon: the importance of a grandparent cannot be overstated. THEY ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! (caps intended)

    So happy to see you here. Thank you. And I'm so happy that what you read here, reaffirms all your actions with your grandbabies.

  38. Alexandra174

    Varda, thank you so much. Your comment here means more than I can tell you. Believe me when I say that I thank you from the bottom of my heart with how generous you always are to me with your bloggy love. Thank you.

  39. Alexandra174

    Oh, Sherri, I know. Nichole wanted me to keep it, but I wanted this here. Because it is important, all our small moments are important. They may be small to us but they are big to someone else.

  40. Alexandra174

    Lori, it is so very hard to forget the bad. With the thought of my grandmother, the thoughts are always good and peaceful. But I can't let my mind go to my mother or father..or else all that black ugliness comes back. Did you have someone like my grandmother in your life? I so hope you did. Because I have no good thoughts on my mother, luckily, she was only background noise. My grandmother was center stage in my life. I was so blessed.

  41. Alexandra174

    I know just what you mean, Word of Mouth. It's hard for me to believe that I didn't even know any of these women here a year ago. I can't get over that. Nice to have met you, too. And thank you for your kind words here today.

  42. Alexandra174

    Oh, Jennifer, you know how I love you. And I have to let you know in case I haven;t done an adequate job enough yet, you brighten my days. Thank you for that.

  43. Hutch

    I love coming by here for the reminder that the little moments are really what's important. I'm so glad the Empress shared her story, even if it does mean I'm getting all teary eyed at work.

  44. Alexandra174

    Beautiful Yuliya: you are as devoted to motherhood as I am. I feel like my life began with my children. I could be all that I wished I had had as a child, with my children. ,I see a therapist for chronic depression, and she told me that the reason I love mothering so much is that I am getting a chance to reparent myself. She is right. Thank you for coming over her today. So much.

  45. Alexandra174

    Thank you, Cheryl. Your comments mean so much to me. I am glad you are here today to meet my grandmother. There were no small moments with my grandmother, each one is still huge in my life. HUGE. So much, that I never have a day where I don't' think of her. It was a deep deep love and I can't wait to see her again someday.

  46. ksluiter

    Oh…this is so lovely I have been sitting here smiling trying to think of just the right words…but they escape me. I remember my grandma so fondly. I watch my mother creating these moments with my son. I wonder if they know what they are doing. That they are slowly building love in my son the way others built that in me.

    this post is exactly what Small Moments Mondays are all about. the power behind them is endless.

    thank you. thank you so much!

  47. amanda

    I am CERTAIN you are making hundreds of thousands of such small moments for your family, Empress. You are a special person.

  48. anothermomof2

    Oh the tears that you can bring Empress. Both of you are such amazing, special, emotional bloggers, and I am honored to get to know you even a bit. This post is so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes- and instantly made me think of moments with my grandmother that I lost so long ago.

    Thank you for sharing.

  49. This is a beautiful post. Really, it is.

    I did not have this kind of relationship with any of my family, really. My grandparents were more messed up than my parents.

    For me? It is harder to remember good small moments. There are many more small dark ones that I'd prefer not to remember.

    Ah, well. All building blocks for the masterpiece that is me now. LoL

  50. Alexandra174

    Oh, my favorite samoan spammer, gopopgo. Mr gopopgo, thank you so much for your visit. We've got a lot more in common, I've been discovering, as first generation Americans. Everything is so new for us. Happy to see you here. You are the type of father I wished I had had.

  51. Alexandra174

    Thank you, Hutch. I hope they're good tears of sweet memories. Like mine were, when I wrote this.

  52. Alexandra174

    Thank you, sluiternation. We've been through a lot, the both of us. Coming through the darkness of PPD, spurred on by the passion of being the best mother we could possibly be. It's like a sisterhood, isn't it? Thank you for your very kind words.

  53. CDG

    Oh, Alexandra! What a beautiful piece, and a perfect home for it, indeed. What I'm feeling is way too big for the comments. I'm a little undone.

    I will say thank you, though, for sharing something so beautiful.

  54. Megan-Best of Fates

    The Empress is pretty freaking amazing. As is this post. But that's just what I expect from her, so I'm not surprised.

  55. Mrs.Mayhem

    Alexandra, thank you for sharing this beautiful moment. It is such a gift, to know you have been loved dearly. Truly, that love lasts forever.

  56. Nancy Davis Kho

    The power of a wonderful essay is not when we say, "I know just you felt after reading it" but rather, "How did you know just how I felt?" That's what you've done here. As soon as I started reading I was remembering how my man's man of a dad used to enjoy combing out my hair before bed, the one little act of nurturing and affection wrapping up both up and binding us close, even forty years later. Thanks for your poetry, Empress.

  57. Alexandra174

    Thank you, Amanda, and thank you so much for breaking out of your commit to writ, and entering the internet today. Meeting you has been a wonderful surprise and pleasure. Happy to see you here.

  58. Alexandra174

    It is bittersweet, isn't it? When you love someone so much, you're so very happy you had that person, but the pain of them being gone, is actually physical.

    Thank you for stopping here, and your wonderful comment. Thank you.

  59. Alexandra174

    Oh, I am so very very sorry to hear of this.

    I cannot imagine.

    As I said before, I can't imagine my life without my grandmother's stable presence and accepting love. I admire your attitude, "the building blocks that you will be." Because you can shut that door, and start anew, and quit that cycle.

    Please, if you ever want to email me, I hope you do. I love to listen.

  60. Alexandra174

    Thank you, CDG. Your comment here means more than I can tell you. Thank you.

  61. Alexandra174

    Oh, the contender for Pursey Galore's affections…well, well, and how is she doing? I haven't heard much, but I still am in care of Li'l Purselette.

    So very nice to see your comment here, thank you.

  62. Alexandra174

    Exactly, Mommy Mayhem. That moment has a reach of forever. Because my grandmother loved me so, I learned how to love my children so, and I know they will love their children so.

    We are not only raising our children, but our grandchildren, also.

    Thank you for your wonderful words here today. I have enjoyed getting to know you this year.

  63. Wow just wow! What a wonderful post once again…its so powerful. Reading this brought tears to my eyes, it really is the simple moments in life that mean the most. I hope one day to touch someone like Grandmother has…beautiful!

  64. kris

    Oh, I just love Empress.

    And that she has shared this here?

    I am so incredibly touched and moved by her courage and willingness to share.

    She is so lovely.

  65. Ash

    I read this post this morning while in traffic, so I was not able to comment then (responsible girl ;) but your words have stuck with me all day sweet Alexandra. As I'm positive they will for a very, very long time.

    How many days have I reached the end of my rope only to find your kind, sincere words gracing my in box? Too many to count. Your love and support for souls far and wide is staggering. Have no doubt that your kindness makes a difference to a great number of people.

    To read your post here makes my heart ache for the innocent child you once were. And inspires me to strive to be a better mother. I'm so very sorry for your pain, and so very happy that your grandmother was able to give you moments of love that would see you through to the incredible person you are today.

    Much love, Ashlei

  66. Oh Empress, I connected immediately…while I will never know your pain being a child who lost her father to suicide or a child of a mother who was depressed…I am a child of verbal abuse. My grandmother's home was the only place that I felt safe. Where i felt loved. Where I felt that I was more than just the words I was called.
    I lost my grandma last year and the impact of losing someone who did everything to make me feel like a normal kid should…is beyond words.
    Beautifully written as always ;)

  67. liz

    Nichole was spot on to describe you as a hug personified!

    Empress, I don't know what to say other than you are an amazing woman, your grandmother is certainly very proud, and I feel that so many of us see the qualities of her, in you.

  68. gigi

    I am certain that Empress gets tired of me saying how awesome she is, how this post is her best ever, because every post I read is always your newest best ever.

    It truly is in a small moment like this that our lives change; they can move forward in a positive light or turn toward darkness. I am so happy that you were blessed with a Grandmother that pointed you toward the light.

    She would be very proud of who you are: as a mom, woman, friend, blogger, wife, human being, Latina and citizen of the world.

  69. Mad Woman behind the Blog

    I waited to comment all day because every time I came back to this post or thought of it through the day, tears came to my eyes. Alexandra, you are so amazing. And I believe that you are the embodiment of your dear grandmother. It is evident in every comment you leave, every blogger you support, every post you tweet. You are creating for us small moments with your words.
    And Nichole, your intro. SIGH. How beautiful and how true.

  70. ann's rants

    This is absolutely beautiful. And every word about you in the introduction is true, Ms. Empress.

    Another Fan.

  71. K A B L O O E Y

    I can't see through my tears. She sounds like a blessing, but so are you to have heard and understood her message and value to you and your siblings. I didn't know you came from such pain. How could I when your writing radiates such joy and humor and your parenting, as evidenced by your posts and the brilliant ones of the very obviously loved and nurtured Baby E, shine with light. Can't see the shadows. You amaze me more than you did yesterday, and that's saying quite a lot.

  72. anymommy


  73. Mommylebron

    I Love This. It’s such a beautiful, heartfelt memory. Like you, I try to let my “child’s eye” guide my “mom’s heart”. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’l go blow my nose and call my Maml.

  74. Alexandra174

    Heehee. Glad I could spur you into that phone call. Youre so lucky to have her still here to call, what I wouldn't give for 5 seconds of that.

  75. Alexandra174

    Thank you, this means so much to hear you say that. Thank you.

  76. Alexandra174

    My KABLOOEY: now you know why I rely and stalk, er…I mean, visit, my funny ladies like you so much. I depend on the likes of you daily. DAILY.

  77. Alexandra174

    Thank you, Ann. I began blogging after seeing what a community you had built around you. I remember that day. I've gotten to know you, and your friends, and it's been beyond what I wished for.

    Thank you.

  78. Alexandra174

    Aww, thank you Mad Blogging Mom: I hope to get to know you more in the new year. I truly do.

  79. Alexandra174

    Thanks for being here, Gigi. You are my oldest, dearest, blogging friend. Thank you for always being so supportive and for always encouraging me. Thank you.

  80. Alexandra174

    Liz, thank you so much. To have you think I am like my grandmother, is a compliment that makes me beam. I hope I am. I so hope I am.

  81. Alexandra174

    Just sent you an email. I am so sorry you lost your grandmother, I know that pain. Email me back, when you can. So happy you are here, and that you and I connected on this. We have lots to share. Won't it be good to listen to e ach other? Thanks for coming over. So much.

  82. Cecilia

    >She had the gift of making you feel like you were the only one that mattered.

    You have the exact same gift, Alexandra. How is it that you have something like 600 followers and yet I feel so loved and so special in your eyes? If you can make me feel this way and I live in cyberspace, I can only imagine the love that your children feel from you. They are so lucky.

    Your story broke my heart. That you could be the woman you are today in spite of what you went through is unbelievable. I am so glad you had your grandmother, and that she has had the impact that she has on you. I have NO doubt that your sons will remember so many small moments (that will in fact be huge for them) in the future.

    Ay ay ay ay…canta y no llores….
    It was one of my favorite songs growing up.

    Thank you for this, Alexandra!

    And Nichole, what a beautiful introduction. "The Empress is truly a hug personified" – that captures her best!

    xo Cecilia (Only You)

  83. Just lovely. I don’t throw that word around. For real: This story puts the “love” in “lovely.” I’m sure that you know that your grandmother is continuing to beam down at you every single day. Thanks for making me smile (albeit through tears) this morning.

  84. Alexandra174

    Thank you, Sue. That you honor my grandmother's memory with sincere tears, makes me beyond beaming. . She'd love to hear this. Thank you

  85. Alexandra174

    Sweet ceci: once again, as always, you get me. And when you get me, I get myself even more. Yes, the song she sang to me, saying "sing and dont' cry" she sang to me daily. Did she know what she was telling me? Was it on purpose, was it equipping me to live with what I had as parents, after she'd be gone? I don't know. But it worked.

    You are special and so loved by me, C. You know you are. Thank you for being so faithful.

  86. Alexandra174

    Thank you, Ash. You know, I am so happy you feel what I'm saying here. So happy about that. I love writing, for the single reason of communicating. Connecting and being understood is so awesome. Thank you for that.

  87. Alexandra174

    Kris, like Nichole here, I love you. You, with your acceptance and unconditional love, have set the pace to make peace with my past, and see where it comes from. I visit you daily, just to help me put things in perspective and understand my parents as human beings. Nothing more, nothing personal.
    No reflection on me.

    Thank you for that.

  88. Alexandra174

    Tina, the way that you write about your life, and your boys, I have no doubt at all they will be able to write of special moments with you. I have no doubt at all. Merry Christmas to a wonderful lady.

  89. Alexandra174

    What a wonderful compliment to leave here for me, thank you so much. I'm glad I was able to bring back some sweet memories. I love to think on my grandmother, too. Her care for me translated into the word love.

  90. KLZ

    Oh, my darling Empress, how I love your words. I hate that you went through all that, but love the way you tell it. Your grandmother is a treasure…and you were obviously her favorite.

  91. I am a collector of moments in time. Love this.

  92. Alexandra, I am moved beyond words.

  93. It was just as good as everyone said it would be, Empress. But what I like the most was that it was about YOU as a child, not you as a mother. It was different. It surprised me. Your grandmother sounded like a very special person. How wonderful that you had her in your life. And now – that moment – commemorated forever.

    Beautiful series, Nichole.

  94. So beautiful and visual, I could almost imagine that it was me in the arms of a loving grandmother. A place I always longed for and never experienced. Thank you for sharing her with us, Empress. And in doing so, sharing your heart.

  95. Oh my dear Empress that was inexpressibly lovely and sad and wonderful. I will be thinking about giving my children those "small moments" now. Thank you, dear friend.

  96. mommakiss02

    read this earlier and couldn't comment…i'm so happy to know The Empress…this is simply simple. and lovely.

  97. Alexandra174

    oh, mommakiss, thank you so much. I especially appreciate you sharing your time with your mama there, with me, just to comment.

    Will you two be watching Mr Smith goes to Washington together? We love that one over here. Him, mama!!

  98. Alexandra174

    Thank you, dusty. Your comments always mean the world to me. You are always generous with your time and love in my direction. I don't know how you do it, I know how busy you are. Congrats on the TV show! I tried to find it the other day on the schedule guide, but too overwhelming. I'll email you askign for a direct link. I don't want to miss seeing how my sister wife lives…cuz I know it's just like my place. With the hubs cursing the hotwheels that pierce his tender arch.

  99. Alexandra174

    Oh, ck, I am so very sorry you never had a grandparent.

    I only had my abuelita. No grandfather (tragic story, murder) and my other set never made it here from Colombia.

    But the one I did get? Beyond beyond.

    Loved your post "exceeding expectations." It was so beautiful.

  100. Alexandra174

    Thank you, Chalupa.

    Whenever I write anything about my grandmother at all, it turns out to be my best stuff. Humbly, I say that.

    She is my passion.

  101. Alexandra174

    MOTPG: thank you so much. It is a very real moment she gave me, every moment with her was a real moment. I think it's because I clung to them so much.

    Thank you for being here.

  102. Alexandra174

    JOey, I read The Help, and that's exactly how my grandmother was to me. I can't even thing what I'd be like if I didn't have her, with all the mentalness that my homelife was.

    Thank you for always being so faithful to my guest posts. Truly. Thank you.

  103. Alexandra174

    Thank you, so much, Jack. You are right, I have a beautiful, beautiful collection of moments with my grandmother in my head.

    Thank you for this wonderful thought. A collection of moments. For me to pull out anytime.

    Thank you

  104. Alexandra174

    Thank you, KLZ. I know it sounds so bad, and it was awful. But I had my grandmother, and those memories are so dang awesome.

    The way that woman could wouldn't believe it. She was ferocious about it. The book I've begun about her is so easy to write. The pages just flow.

    She was something else. I don't think there's enough words to ever cover her adequately.

  105. @MyPixieBlog

    Oh, WOW. I just… I'm overwhelmed. This was absolutely beautiful, Empress. Thanks for sharing this story with us. It brings back some memories of washing dishes with my oma in Germany and hearing her laugh, a sound I hadn't thought of in at least 10 years. I can't thank you enough for that. __I'm so glad I found this blog today with your help. I'm going to look around a bit. I like it here. (I also love the description of the Empress: a hug personified. So true!). Much love to you all and happy holidays!!!

  106. Alexandra174

    Your comment has taken my breath away.

    Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

    If I can make my grandmother's memory live on this way, I am beyond happy.

  107. This is absolutely stunning and so typical of The Empress' talent/writing. My heart is aching and I have tears in my eyes. I had no idea about your parents, Alexandra. Or I think I knew a bit, but had forgotten. I have no doubt you really were your grandmother's favorite. I know you're one of mine.

  108. Stunning.

    I once heard Maya Angelou say that your eyes should light up when your children walk in the room. This was long before I had children of my own, but I never forgot it. When the children in our lives – whether ours or those close to us – appear, we should always make them feel like the most special thing in the room. What a gift your grandmother gave to you.

    My heart aches for your story; and it nearly explodes at the realization of who you became, how those challenges shaped you. You are an amazing woman!

  109. Julie Daley

    Such love pours forth through our words. I can see you were a good student of your Grandmother, learning her ways well. Thank you.

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