Two weeks ago, right after the Mary Magdalene Celebration in NYC, our baby saw the sea for the first time at Vacía Talega beach in Piñones, Puerto Rico.
A few days later, our extended tribe traveled inland to Naranjito to celebrate the one year anniversary of my dad's voyage into the Great Unknown.
I sang "Herido de muerte" (Deathly Wounded) and even dared lay my unskilled hands on Papi's accordion. I had to. For more than a few reasons. "Herido de muerte" is a gorgeous song that Papi recorded with Andrés Jiménez in the 1980s. And I love that song. And so does the rest of our family. And it was a song that Papi used to sing often and deeply identified with. And there was nobody else that day who could play Papi's instrument. And the masterful musicians around me more than compensated for my bumbling efforts to play three simple chords.
You see those windows to the left? A year ago, as Papi got more and more frail right before his death, that's the same spot where our family and friends would gather to play for him through the window as he lay in bed. This year, Papi's first grandchild and our family's youngest member lay napping behind those same windows, as we played in Papi's honor, grappling with his death and celebrating Life.
El diario vivir / Daily life
Fue mi timonel / Was my helmsman
Y buscando a tropel / And searching desperately
Lo que es el sentir / For the feeling
Al sobrevivir / As I survived
A mi siglo y mi suerte / My century and my luck
Y sin oponerme / And without offering resistance
Caí en lo profundo / I fell to the depths
Y hoy voy por el mundo / And now I walk the world
Herido de muerte / Deathly wounded
"Herido de muerte" by Andrés Jiménez
* Photo and video by Mamá Miñi.