Hey y’all, it’s been a while…

I’m sure some of you might be wondering where I’ve been, maybe some of you didn’t notice my absence. Either way, I’m here today and so are you (if you’re reading this lol)!

Man, this year has been a hard one. There has been a lot going on in my life and in the lives of the people I love most. I honestly just haven’t had the heart or the passion to write, until now.

The year started out with my grandma getting really sick with COVID, which then turned into other things and we came really close to losing her. The heartache we felt at the thought of losing her, hurt so much. Our family (on my dad’s side) scrambled to do everything in our power, so that each of her children/grandchildren could see her. With love and support from so many people we made it happen, and during that time everyone was able to spend time with my Nana and say their last goodbyes. In true fashion, God showed us he had other plans & wasn’t quite ready for her. She miraculously recovered and went from being on hospice to her health being restored and we shared a beautiful spring and summer with her.

But like everything, all good things must come to an end.

This fall, I received a call that my Nana had become very sick, and the outcome wasn’t looking great. As much as the doctors tried, her health was failing fast and there was just no turning things around. Once again, our family rallied together and rushed to be at her side. But this time, it felt different. We knew there was no coming back from this and our lives were truly about to change forever.

The weekend of October 10th, 2021, my sister, Monica, my cousin, Jennifer & I sat vigil at our Nana’s beside as she slowly slipped away from this world and into the arms of Jesus. It was one of the most difficult tasks I had ever done. But it felt right. We shared stories, laughed our butts off and cried our eyes out, as one of the strongest, fiercest, and most amazing woman lived her last moments. It was painfully beautiful.

I loved my Nana. She influenced my life in so many ways. She fueled my love for Disney and sparked my love of reading. She showed me how to thrift shop and taught me that if you really want something, you have to work for it. My love of board games, popcorn & singing are all products of her raising. She was truly a one-of-a-kind and I am so lucky to have loved and been loved by her. My heart hurts knowing that she is no longer with us on this earth, but I know she is running the streets of gold and tending to the most beautiful garden in Heaven.

Before her passing, I took on the task of gathering up photos and creating a video memorial of her. It was one thing I really wanted to do to honor her in one of the best ways I know how.

I love you so much Nana & I miss you like crazy. But I know you are always with me and I will see you again someday. Until then, I’ll continue to live my life un dia la vez, just like you taught me.

Love, Riaa

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