BY MARIA LUISA SALCINES
I get emotional when speaking of my mother. She’s been gone for nearly 10 years and there is not a day that goes by that I do not think about her.
Mami, as I called her, showed great affection. It wasn’t unusual for her to sit next to me and hold my hand while we talked. I miss her hugs and our long talks.
As a child, I remember her making everything fun. She always seemed to be smiling and happy; her enthusiasm for life was contagious.
She was my best friend, my confidante and my accomplice — always ready to have a good time.
Our family took amazing trips because she loved reading, which led her to research great places for us to visit.
When my dad and my brother would go to New York City to work, she and I would tag along and spend our day exploring.
I will never forget the day it began snowing as we were walking down 5th Avenue or the day we saw Jacqueline Onassis while shopping at Bergdorf Goodman.
My mom and I were looking through a clothes rack and looked up to find Mrs. Onassis standing across us. We smiled from recognition and she smiled back.
One of my mom’s favorite things to do in New York was having tea at the Plaza Hotel, which is beautiful. Simply walking into this magnificent building transports you to another era.
In the Palm Court, under an impressive stained glass dome, tea is served every afternoon.
The tables are set with white linens, elegant tableware and china. The scones and desserts are delicious. And the ambiance? Magical.
I have a vivid memory of one particular afternoon when a string quartet was performing. A young woman playing the violin stood out from the group.
She was graceful and elegant. Feeling the music with such intensity, she played with her eyes closed. It was moving to watch.
When my mom and I glanced to each other, we both had tears in our eyes.
My mother placed her hand on mine and said, “Who would have thought that two Cubanitas from Guantánamo would be having tea at the Plaza Hotel?”
This was my mom, never one to forget who she was and always grateful to God for her blessings. She never took her life for granted.
My life without her has never been the same. But even when separated by death, love never fades.
To have had her as my mother is something I will always cherish. I find peace in knowing this amazing woman was in fact aware we adored her.
Maria Luisa Salcines is a freelance writer and certified parent educator with The International Network for Children and Families in Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom. Follow her on Twitter @PowerOfFamily, Instagram @mlsalcines or contact her on her blog FamilyLifeandFind-ingHappy.com.