Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dominican Heritage Month, Day 28

I love traveling down memory lane with my family. And there's no better way to do that than through our old photos. A while back Mami gave me a bunch of old black & whites to have restored, matted and framed, and last night I looked through them again to assess the situation and reconcile that with my bank account.

Among the pictures I found this one:

It was so fitting to this month's theme. And even though I can't recall who this is or what concert we were attending (my mom & I were concert rats back in the day, just all up and through the backstage area like VIPs) this man holding that flag in that moment in time, filled me with a strange feeling that I can only describe as pride.

Some of you know my cousin Gregory, from the Penzo side, recently passed. I always cringe at having to deal with that part of my family and funerals are so not my thing, but as soon as I saw (on Facebook, of course!) that Gregory had died all I could think of was his mother, Suzy, and her heartache. As a mom I just know that having to bury a child is devastating. I can't imagine it. And she'd always been good to me, and is a classy lady, and all I wanted was to see her again and hug her and ask for her bendiciones.

I sat in the back of the funeral home (as faaaarrrrrrr away from the open casket as humanly possible and still be in the room) and searched the faces of everyone who came in. "Is that a cousin? Great-aunt? Are we related?" It was a longing I didn't even know was there. Strange. I always run screaming from anything Penzo and it took a funeral for a cousin that I hadn't seen since he was about 9 years old (he was 32 when he died) to realize that, as ratchet and ghetto and just UGH as my biological father's family is, they're my blood.

And as much as I try to deny it, I'm a little proud of that, too.

*besos...just for my Tia Suzy, who buried her baby boy yesterday*
I can't promise I'll stop making fun of them. in fact, I know I won't. but I think my days of denying my Penzo kin are behind me.