Mi querida abuela, my dear grandmother, passed away recently.
When I shared with her the first printed copy of Mango Rain, I remember how she caressed the cover and held the book close to her heart during our entire three hour visit just the way she held her precious great, great grandchildren. Also like with the children, I almost had to wrestle my one and only printed Mango Rain copy from her hands, explaining I needed to proofread it a final time for the typesetter.. Only my promise of bringing another copy got me Mango Rain back.
Then she changed her mind, and asked that I bring back a translated Mango Rain, Lluvia de Mango, since she did not read in English! The Spanish translation immediately became a priority for me. After all, the request came from mi querida abuela, at that time already a centenarian.
I thank her for so much, including all the colorful stories of life in Cuba which made that country come alive for me as a child raised in the U.S. Mango Rain and the soon to be published Mimi’s Path owe a lot to those stories.
Every day I miss her, but she lives in my heart, life … and in my works.