Today my grandmother would have been 78. She died on October 21st, 2008. She never met PK, but I am grateful that she was still alive when PK was born, and was able to see pictures of her great-granddaughter. The pain of her loss has lessened over the past two years, but when I take a moment to sit down and think about her, it still makes me cry. Though I miss her dearly, I don't want this to be a sad post.
PK will never know her bisa (great-grandmother in Portuguese) Vera in the flesh, but that doesn't mean that she won't get to know her great-grandmother at all. In fact, PK knows my grandmother from pictures that I keep around the house, and she knows her through stories. As I've learned in recent years, family is as much about the present as it is about the past. After all, our grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great grandparents have all had a hand in shaping who we are, whether directly, or indirectly. Family histories are so rich, and they are a part of our identity. It's important to keep this history alive, because otherwise, you'll wake up one day and realize that you don't know anything about your past. And to me, things like family recipes, knitting techniques, stories, heirlooms (like jewelery) and pictures make up a family history.
A few years before my grandmother died, she'd mailed me a number of recipes. I'm so grateful for that. Not only are they family recipes, but they're also hand-written, and they come with little notes in which she tells me how much she loves me. I will cherish those forever, and hope to pass those on to PK (should she ever take an interest in baking).
Feliz aniversário, Vovó Vera. Beijinhos!