My grandmother has always been the most beautiful and important woman in my life alongside my mom. Today, my grandma, this beautiful and strong woman turns 79 years old. She is, without a doubt, the Queen of our family. The matriarch of four children. Three sons followed by one daughter. I am certain that I was made just for her. With m y grandfather, they make up the “True North” of our family. Friends, I run my business on hope, integrity, and good work. And, to put everything on the table, those two sweet souls are the ones who taught me that hope, integrity, and a ton of hard work are the tenets to rely on within my own character and that of others.
Ana Delia (my grandmother) is exceptional. She is strong, wise, and places her family before all else. I wish more than anything that I could be there with her today; I am however, delighted that she’s celebrating this birthday with my uncle, mom, and cousins in Puerto Rico. It’s a place that she’s been longing to visit for over a year. My sweet grandmother was raised there and in the past year, her island home has been calling her. Due to COVID, she’s spent days crying with a longing in her heart for the Island of Enchantment that soothes her soul. I am ecstatic that she’s finally back home for her 79th birthday.
Pictured above is my grandfather, grandmother with my cousin Edgar on her lap, and my uncle Edgardo with my cousin Christian on his lap.
This image from the early 1980’s is actually a photo that I restored in college. It remains one of my favorite photos of all time. The ONLY image in the world that’s more special to me is one of my grandmother and uncle Eddie (Edito) from LONG before I was born.
I grew up seeing a photo of my beautiful grandmother and her sweet son (my uncle) on her dresser. It was there for my entire life. That black and white 8×10 photo are still, as we speak, sitting on her dresser in her home. It always felt like a silent and special part of our home. Frozen in time, a momma and her little boy. It was like magic. You see, that photo was all that remained after a fire broke out in her home when she was younger. My grandmother lost everything she owned except for that and a few other photos. Growing up, I understood its significance and I believe it’s a big reason why I chose to create photographs as a career.
So today I ask that you all join me on wishing this woman the happiest of birthdays. The most kindness, love, and peace as she celebrates 79 years of being an unbelievable blessing.
Happy birthday mami Delia.