My great-grandmother, Ramona Ortiz, was one baaaaaaad bitch. And I say this with the utmost respect and love.
She was the only woman I knew who smoked an old wooden pipe. I loved getting her tobacco for her, and usually waited around for her to light up so I could inhale the sweet smell it emitted. She used to torture the mice that got caught on the traps around the apartment, cursing them out in Spanish before setting them on fire, scalding them with boiling water or flushing them to eternity.
Back in the day, she carried a weapon on the road to protect herself as the sole provider of her kids. Her husband? Well, he was shown the door via a hot-brick attack after physically abusing her. Yes, hot bricks. How genius is that? But the best bit of history I just got about my beloved Nenena (as we kids called her) is that she went toe-to-toe with my Abuelo's family because they tried to kill my mom when she was a baby. And Nenena held on to this grudge well into her last years- when Abuelo's new wife's mother dared greet Nenena at a party she uttered something to the effect of "Is this bitch crazy? Did she forget I almost took a machete to her neck in DR?"
This woman was four-foot-nothing, ornery, constantly scowling and always judging from her little chair in the kitchen and now I know why. There's always a back story, you know? Especially in a family like mine with a forest of trees of branches of relatives. She was just upholding our family honor. She was just protecting us the only way she knew how.
She's one of the reasons that, of all the clans that contributed to my DNA, I rep the Ortiz women the hardest. My great-grandmother, Ramona Ortiz, was one baaaaaaad bitch, y'all. I can only hope I'm half the woman she was!
*smooches...with love and pride and in remembrance*
I really need to stop with all these bullshit fiction stories and write the tome of my family. That book would FLY off the shelves!