It's true folks. That beautiful lady; that statuesque vision; that enchanting mix of beauty and grace (holding a remarkable resemblance to yours truly) is my mother.
This was her first (and well deserved) major vacation in a long time, and we agreed that it would be the perfect opportunity for her to visit a new country. I, of course, was delighted to pamper her as much as my wallet would allow. Lucky for her, my wallet was feeling quite generous!
We wined, we dined, we walked, we shopped, we loitered at cafes, we antiqued.
People were met, cities were explored, fun was had, and certain pieces disappeared from my closet (I'm talking about the sweater, mom!)
One of the great successes of the visit was the bond established between my Mom and Andre. My mom has always been fond of Andre and very supportive of our relationship. And though it is admittedly not what she had once wanted for me (if you catch my drift), she has never tried to take away from the fact that there is a lot of love and care in our home.
On a more poignant note, this visit brought into the light something I had not thought about in years: The concept of family. I'll be quite frank, this isn't something I think about very much, and it's a mess of feelings and ideas I'm still trying to figure out.
Being raised in Dominican Republic, we were completely isolated from our extended family, and then moving to NYC (after two impossibly stagnant years on Long Island), I once again left them all behind without much contact (more out of lack of interest than dislike). These days, after the fallout with my dad over that little disagreement over my sexual orientation, and my sister having moved to Colombia, the general ideas of 'family' and 'home' are very foreign to me. I no longer think of family in terms of blood, but of love and support.
This is my family.