Mamacita a few years before she dies

Still haunted by her character

I have yet to discover the many stories of my Chilean grandmother-in-law. Hopefully I’ll learn more before long but for now, suffice to say that she was a powerful woman who lived a full life. She died in Tocopilla more than 20 years ago. The family knew that her days were numbered and so they set up vigils. People took turns at her bedside day and night.

The day she died it was my husband’s turn.

He told me that before she drew in her last breath, she smiled and she said, ‘La Gringa’. He thinks she was referring to me but no one knows for sure. I like to think so. Honestly, I don’t know why she would have thought of me on her deathbed. But somehow, I’m glad she did.

The day she passed on, I was out of the country. My husband called, still shaken, “Mamacita died. I was the one at her side,” he said. “It was my turn. I opened the door and saw Chica across the street and I called her over so she could tell Mom and the rest of the family.” I admit now that I didn’t feel what I should have felt at that moment. For some time, I had been unsympathetic towards Mamacita because she didn’t get along well with my father-in-law, whom I loved and respected a great deal. I felt that Mamacita had lived a good, long life and that she must have died in peace and that, although it was sad for the family, her eventful and satisfying life was reason for satisfaction. But it seems that she had at least one thing pending.

A week after she died, when I was still abroad, she came to me in a very powerful dream. I will never forget it. I always knew that Mamacita had what they called ‘strong character’ but I never would have imagined that she had the force to be present herself to me after she had passed over. The dream is the subject of my next post.