Ma’s Essence [Fiction]
When Mami died, I kept her keys. All I ended up using to remember her were the 4 multi-sized keys from Morales Hardware and the Marymount Housing Authority. She had an ornate deer made out of beads from Guatemala on the biggest ring. It was a gift from her best friend, Roselín, who said she always seemed to move as gracefully and at times with shocking pause. It’s translucent brown beads looked like drips of honey on summer days. Next to the Dominican Deer was a little portrait of San Miguel that her grandmother had given her to protect her as she roamed the Earth. She never quite understood travel other than hoping to ride a wave back to 1967; perhaps a different choice could have been made or at least the screaming might have stopped in a different way. It wasn’t supposed to turn out like this. The silver plated key chain from her favorite cruise ship made the most noise on that big and slightly rusted key ring. Ma didn’t always enjoy having to put money away for those trips when it could be used for right now. For today’s bills. She was committed however, to seeing more of the world in comfort. When Ma passed away a few weeks ago, I kept her keys and gave my pair to Manuel to hold in case of an emergency. Al fin y al cabo, I got a few of her tools to unlock the door(s) she worked hard to own. I miss her, but she’s not gone.