I have a story about the most special butterflies of them all, my grandmother.
The reason I call myself a Mariposa, the reason I love butterflies is that I turned them into a reminder of her.
Now my grandmother was a woman many admired. Her personality was heavenly. She would feed anyone who needed a meal, she would go clean the church. She offered help to anyone who needed it.
She had truly a massive heart.
My butterfly was a woman of wisdom. A woman of many stories and faith.
I always wanted to be as beautiful as her. Her hair was long, straight and really long. Her caramel skin glistened in the sun. My mother would always say men admired her beauty when she was young.
I always wanted to be as loved as her. She held the family together. She was the matriarch.
I am grateful I was able to live with her for a year and a half in the Dominican Republic when I was 12. I will always remember those days as the best days of my life.
I ridiculed by classmates of course in this new private Christian school in the Dominican Republic. There were times I would come home and cry to my grandmother. I was so sad, didn’t even want to set foot in that school anymore.
But my Mariposa reminded me every day that I was beautiful, I was special and they were just being immature. She said I was mature for my age.
We used to watch novelas together. My grandfather and I in the room watching it while she would watch from the window of the room as she washed the clothes. She was a clean woman. A poised woman, a woman who kept the household smelling like roses.
With her, I would go to church. That year and a half of my life, I felt nothing but peace. She showed me that with her no problem was too strong.
She would wake me up at 6 am to get ready for church. I would get in a pretty dress and she would fix up my hair. I always wanted to wear her perfumes. I combed her hair some days and she wore a pretty outfit and we would be on our way to church.
On our way, we had to walk for a while. On our way to church, we would pass by trees that had pretty tiny white butterflies roaming around them.
After she died, those memories stood out the most. When she died my father found a butterfly collection in the basement of his job. The first person who thought to bring it home to was me. It was clear to me that it was her, reminding me that she was still with me. Reminding me to remember her and the walks we had to church.
This why I call myself una Mariposa.
May we all roam free, like my Mariposa, my grandmother who still lives in the hearts of many 🦋.