Unraveling knots Grandma´s style

This morning I had to dedicate 20 precious minutes of my time to the laborious task my youngest daughter had for me: for Christmas 2017, she received a copper chain with a heart-shaped charm from her best friend at school. The girl gave another chain to a second girl and she also carries one. They have promised to take her with them always.

Today the happy chain has decided to arm itself in pitched battle and become an intricate exchange of knots impossible to fix for my daughter, who in her frustration pulled it hard and made the task more difficult.

I begin to make an attempt at getting out the knot, with the purpose that the routine was not affected, and became frustrated as I made an effort to stick to my schedule. After five minutes, the chain in my hands had twisted even more, and I felt like those images of bodies possessed in horror movies, that in the end you cannot understand how the victim of the possession did not end quadriplegic or with a broken neck. My daughter looked at me in anguish with a tear starting to fall down her cheek. Let’s clarify that my youngest daughter has surpassed each one of the members of this family and more, taking the Oscar award for the best dramatic actress, so you can imagine her face transfiguring herself. With every tear that covered in his face, became an irremediable scene of frustration. The only thing missing was the little gray cloud over her head producing the fiercest of storms as the lightning fell around. Promise of friends is a promise of friends and cannot be broken, first dead!

To avoid transmitting my own frustration and potentially making the environment more hostile, I turned off the hair straightener and sat as comfortable as possible on the lid of the toilet sink. I spread the chain on my leg as much as possible and I let myself be carried away by a memory: my grandmother Carmen Susana Tinoco Escobar and her 90 and more years. We never knew her exact birthday date and with his brothers we made happy accounts trying to find her age. The church that kept her baptismal certificate was burned and with it, the birth stories of at least hundreds of people in her locality.

Carmen had acquired several hobbies in the last years of her life. Being bedridden thanks to Cyborg, our German shepherd (another story to tell, names transform people and animals too, and this is a terrible name even for an animal), in one of its many tantrums push her backward. At the time of hitting the floor with her hip, the head of the bone of the left femur was pulverized, making surgery or prosthesis impossible due to the advanced condition of her osteoporosis. The last 14 years of my grandmother’s life were spent in a bed from one room to the other.

Her routines became simple matters of life where she focused on her basic necessities. But if any knot came to her hands, no matter the material, my grandmother could take the time, to the point of abuse, to achieve her new venture: unravel, unravel, every last thread, fabric or metal, or whatever that reached her hands.

Over time I understood her fascination with the subject, unfortunately I understood it very late. Each one of those threads returned to normal. Those unraveled knots represents her past and the desire to fix whatever her mistakes were, to leave things smooth, straight, and simple, without the crushing curves of life.

My grandmother found it hard to die, and it cost her a lot, 14 prostrate years, while her mind was entangled in all her memories and her memory was gone and she returned whenever she felt like it. In this moment, I untangle the knots of my daughter’s chain and found memories, those of my grandmother and mine. I imagine that when we are old we all look for a bit of coherence, while the tangle of what our life story represents confuses our existence.

By Yeni Toro Go

Note: Beginning with this story, closing the doors of the month of mothers, a tribute to my mother and my grandmother.

I love you, my beautiful mommy.



Pamela Muñoz Graphic Design

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