This I Believe

Andrea - Houston, Texas
Entered on March 13, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: legacy
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Memories I Lived In

My great-grandmother, Josephina Villafranca, was a woman of ninety-two when she died March 19, 2007. With that experience and because of her I now believe life continues on through those who love you long after you are gone.

When I was ten she told me, “Te lo juro hija, no me muero antes de tus quince años.” (I promise I will not die before you turn fifteen)

She was right. At my fifteen I saw her live again. She had the time of her life and seemed to be much younger than we all knew she was and felt. But a few months later she passed away. I had never cried as hard as I did at her funeral until I remembered what she told me when I was about seven,

“Ya no llores Andreita, todo se va hacer bien. Nada importa, solo lo que tienes en el corazón. Eso siempre vive adentro de ti.” (Don’t cry Andrea, everything will be fine. Only the things in you heart matter; they are what live forever.)

I realize what those words mean now, even if they don’t stop my tears. Now she lives through me and in my heart.

Each moment with her seemed to be everlasting. Like a maze you were trapped in or a race in which you just couldn’t reach the finish line. But even though talking to her usually just made me bored I would still sit with her day after day watching her sew while she told me of the events of her day and random thoughts of her past. She would tell the wildest story as I watched her sew…it was as if every word in her story was a stitch in the blanket.

“Paciencia Andrea, paciencia,” she’d tell me as we sat outside and she tried to teach me to sew. I wanted to tell her that I didn’t have patience but I held my tongue. Now that she is no longer alive I stand outside and look at the spot where we sat those many summers ago and allow the wind to bring her close to me again.

My great grandmother gave me wisdom, love, morals and character; all the things I adored about her. I believe that life does not end with death, but continues on through everyone who loves you.