I have been meaning to write this post for a couple of days now and it will not be appeased until I put it down in writing. I was thinking about it yesterday, before I went to church and as Doris and I walked around the neighborhood near the church, we saw a very well kept little garden which reminded me of Don Jose and Dona Ana's house in Villa Nevarez. Just then an animal crossed our path and I told Doris a riddle I had learned from Tito and Nana. "Paso un galan por aqui, no cortado con tejera ni cosido con aguja, que es?" Es un ... That is how he was. Tito that is, always finding a way to make us laugh or challenge our patience. I still laugh though, because he told us that riddle so many times, that I who could hardly memorize anything, know it by heart. "Largo largo como un camino, y rojo como un cochino, que es?" or Nana's que prefiere, miel regalada or miel da?" Though they always argued they were inseparable.
Well, for several weeks I have been repainting, the apartment here in Isla Verde. To do so, I have been using this old rickety wooden ladder that is easily over twenty five years old. I wonder to myself how I still have it. I have been away so long, and yet when I returned to PR, after discarding so many things, this little ladder was still waiting for me. This little ladder that has been to Valle Escondido, El Senorial, Terranova, Costa del Sol, Villa Caparra (under Michelle's guardianship), and now back to me in Costa del Sol. Soiled with oil, varnish, and old paints and it's joints loose making it wobbly, somehow reminded me of Tito.
When I thought of Tito, who when I met him was old enough to have been my own grandfather, and in many ways he was. The riddles, the kindness, the acceptance, and love meant so much to me. The good example that he was, he adoration of Nana who was not perfect like none of us are, explained why they were honored after 50 years of marriage. Tito once used that ladder in its early days to help paint our house in Valle Escondido. There is a picture immortalizing the moment where he is happily holding Rosita who also wanted to paint.
I am so glad to have that ladder, Tito, it reminds me of you. Splashed with love of all colors, bright and kind, with stories of la abuela zapatona, doors that were fixed, walls that were painted, doorknobs that were always shaken twice, tape and magic marker on walls to frame your pictures of us, las adivinazas, and joy. Feliz dia de tu santo, querido Tito. We love you and remember you, today.