By now you know that I live far away from my family; not other side of the world far away but not a few hours by car. So I spend most of my time off flying to them or welcoming them to Chicago. This fourth of July, as we all celebrate the Declaration of Independence, I declare myself dependent on my family. I will spend the day in Florida with my aunts, uncles and cousins.
I was raised to be very close to my aunts and cousins, I consider them my other mothers and siblings and I can't begin to explain how important it is for me to have Amelia feel the same way. She won't, distance will make it very hard to create that strong connection, but I will try my hardest to give her the same opportunity I had, to feel extremely loved by people other than your parents. When I'm at my cousin Vanessa's house or at my aunts' house I literally feel at home. I am happy, at ease, my breathing is lighter.
When I worked at Univision in New York, I traveled to Miami on business quite often. I loved it. I felt like a kid again. My uncle Jose would pick me up wherever I was just to see me. My aunt Tata cooked for me, took me shopping and nursed plenty of my colds while I was there. I could go to dinner with my Aunt Marilu and Uncle Gary at a moments notice.
When I was offered the job at WGN TV in Chicago, guess what my first thought was? How do I break the news to my family in Florida? I felt as sad as when I told my Mom and Dad I was leaving Puerto Rico to take my first job in Chicago. I remember calling Tata and crying on the phone. I cried because I would now lose the chance to be embraced by my family every other month. With my new job, the frequent trips to Miami would end. Tata told me that I had to pursue my dream and that they would always be there to support me, even from thousand of miles away. Isn't that exactly what a mother would say?
So once a year, I take Amelia and my very understanding husband Steve on a pilgrimage to Florida. I depend on that trip to get through the rest of the year. Ay Mama!
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