Today I didn’t go to yoga either. I reasoned that I would need a fresh state of mind to tackle an unknown task: how to deploy one of my projects to a Deta Micro because we have a sponsorship arrangement in which we both hope to make a win in the near future.
As I was just getting started to work somebody knocked at the door. I opened and saw a lady in her fifties asking for my mother. I vaguely recognized her as a member of a family which holds a complicated relationship with my own, I hadn’t seen this woman in my life, but she had the eyes of her family. “I’m Maria Luisa, the daughter of Josefina”—“Ah yes! That’s why you seem so familiar, please come in”.
We sat down for coffee. She told me she used to come visit my mother about once per month, but her own mother (Josefina) had declined in health and required almost constant attention. She was able to come only because her sister was at home, freeing her up for the first visit in more than three years.
Her grandmother had been a maid at my (now deceased) great-grandparents house in Puebla. Maria Luisa mentioned many common personality traits between her family and ours: we’re not very social or gregarious, we grew up in households where parents would not pay much attention to children (which has both advantages and disadvantages), and she also insisted that both our families had “lucidness”, whatever she meant I was happy to hear it, I think it’s a great compliment.
I say the relationship between our families is complicated because, behind this search for common traits there was a subtext: when my grandfather was around 15 years of age, he got the maid pregnant. So she was not only speaking about a common environment, but about genetics. Out of this liason her mother was born, and thus we were related by blood, as cousins.
Even though everybody in the family knew about this liason, for many years everyone pretended it never happened. Josefina, the daughter, became a maid of the household of my grandfather (her father) and then she was married off to one of the workers of my grandfather (it was his choice, not hers).
I sensed Maria Luisa was disappointed in the choice my grandfather had made for her mother. my grandfather drove cargo trucks, and one day he found a child wandering on a rural road, far between towns “where are you going?” he asked “I don’t have anywhere to go” the child responded. So he took him in and gave him a room in the house in exchange for him helping load and unload trucks. With time he became an excellent foreman, but surely a grown man with a lot of childhood trauma. This is the man to whom Josefina, his daughter, was married.
Some ten years ago, both families came together and they acknowledged that Josefina was their sister. Since I was not present at the time, I guess Maria Luisa wanted to hint this to me by pointing out our commonalities in our families. We chatted a couple of hours, and by the time we parted ways, I could have come back from yoga and taken a nap. But it didn’t turn out this way, again family work seems to find precedence over other kinds of work.
We parted ways with plenty of kindness. I promised to invite them over for a bbq soon.