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Wednesday
02/15/17

Carrying on Family Tradition

Posted by caaponte on February 15, 2017 in Family, Futuristic Thinking

For my grandfather, happiness was found in having the family all together. He and my Abuela spent their entire lives building not just a house, but a home. With the recent passing of my Abuelo, I worry how we will uphold tradition… and if we will at all.

I’m the youngest grandchild and so I almost feel as though I am obligated to continue what he worked his whole life to instill in all of us. Whether it was with a pot of rice, a salami and cheese tray, an ice cream cake, zucchini bread, pollo asado, or a pig roast, they had the power to bring people from all over together.

Walking into their living room, you would see the family dancing salsa and merengue. Going outside, you could pick cherries from their many cherry trees and pick grapes right from the vine. Their home embodied the fairytale-like home you read about in storybooks as a child.

I was born in Rochester, as was my father. As the second generation, I wonder if my kids will be able to understand what it means to be Puerto Rican. The fiestas and asados are fewer and farther in between and as that tradition dwindles, I feel as though I am doing the future generations of my family an injustice if I don’t work harder to carry on Puerto Rican traditions. It is not just the food (although it is delicious), nor is it just the music (although it will certainly get you on your feet). Being Puerto Rican is a combination of rich history, romantic Spanish language, a positive disposition, and an understanding that special occasions are meant to be spent gathered in a circle with family. BUT – Just because you may not share the same last name, does not mean you are not family. I would be here all day if I shared with you all the friends and neighbors my grandparents welcomed into their home.

In efforts to celebrate his life, I hope to continue spreading his message to work hard but to always make sure to set aside time to spend with mi familia. His legacy and his strength will live on.