Although I’ve never had a conversation with my mother’s father, I feel as if I know him.
Ever since I was young, my mother has shared what she remembers about her dad. Her stories and recollections have implanted him firmly into my memory.
For example, I think of my grandfather whenever my mother sings.
My mom loves to listen to music and will often sing along. (My dad, in response, will usually say something to the extent of “That’s an MP3 player you have there, not a Karaoke machine.”)
My grandfather used to ask, “¿Por qué estás llorando?” (Why are you crying?) My mother, taking him seriously, would go on to explain that she was singing, not crying. I have no idea how old she was when she realized he was teasing her.
This week I learned that whenever my grandfather heard my mom stumble in a song – either by forgetting the words, or making up her own – he would console her with a conspiratorial “They don’t know the song, mija. You do.”