My Second Home
“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.” - Richard Bach, Illusions (1977)
When I was younger there was a place where days went by slower, food was always prepared, the house was never empty, and every jump in the pool was just as refreshing as the last couple dozen times. I grew to trust everyone here and I learned everything about them, as they did with me. It was everyone’s home away from home. My favorite childhood memories from Mama’s house allowed me to realize the importance of family.
On the outside, the place didn’t look like much, but I would constantly long to visit Mama’s house. The spot I preferred the most in the house was the shaded patio, where the smell of Uncle Charlie’s cheap red wine and lit Cuban cigars filled the room. It was a nice and cool escape from those hot and humid summer days in Florida. There was a place for everyone to enjoy themselves; the dressing room was my sister’s, the piano room was Lillian’s, the weight room was all of the uncle’s, and the kitchen was all of my aunt’s. The beautiful backyard was full of greenery, which Mama and the other grandmothers loved tending to. The single yet
impressively large avocado tree was my favorite plant, I can honestly vouch that this tree grew the creamiest, most delectable avocados my taste buds have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
Not only did Mama’s house accommodate family, but friends and neighbors were welcomed just the same. We all treated each other like flesh and blood, even if we weren’t necessarily related. It was a shelter. The welcoming environment and the familiar faces offered comfort, warmth, and all those other sentimental things we usually yearn for. My first encounters on how to be accepting, hospitable, and caring to others started here. My family is not limited to race, gender, or religion. We consists of a...