An empty nest, removed from children and grandchildren, most of my friends, most of my favorite relatives, all coincided this Christmas. Yet my pity party was cut short, when I saw the sweetest thing today and in a sense the most heartbreaking. I was on my way to see my 88 year old mother who is in a nursing home in Bayamon. I had passed el tunel de Minnillas, passed La Kennedy, and had hopped on route 22 which heads towards Arecibo. I was on the far right lane, going fast. The speed was unknown since the speedometer in this borrowed car was broken, so I was pretty much keeping up with traffic.
Everyone was hurrying to go to someone else's house to deliver presents left at theirs by Santa Claus, when I noticed some people on the side of the road, wearing red and white furred hats. There were two others coming up a small side road pushing a child in a wheel chair. Further ahead I saw perhaps five or six well dressed people, two of which were also wearing the red and white furred hats typical of the festive Christmas season, with their backs turned to the expressway. They were facing a teal and silver high rise building. Waving. At the speed I was going, I couldn't tell if anyone was seeing them, but there had to be or at least they hoped. It was then I realized what they were doing and it pierced my heart as I realized what the teal and silver barred building was. It was the Federal Prison. And the people waving were relatives of inmates there. They may have made mistakes small or large, but they were still loved and valuable. When I thought about the child in the wheelchair wanting to say I love you and wish someone Feliz Navidad, and probably couldn't get closer than this, I gasped as I realized the gift they bore. It was the immensity of their love. A love that took them outside their comfort zone for someone who could not return the favor. I knew then I had love I could bear and someone to receive it and that was enough.