Project Dissertation

I moved to this fabulous city three years ago mainly to; be near an airport for travel, be able to not trade my stilletos for trainers, and to finish my doctoral studies in four years. Yes, that pretty much sums up my priorities at 30. So now I am ABD with nine months to go and San Francisco is no easy city to ignore. Although, I would argue that each experience that deters my academic writing is really just needed inspiration. Welcome and I hope you enjoy...

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Bilingual, Bicultural, and Dual Citizen. J School B.A., M.A. in High Incidence Disabilities, & ABD in Education.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Pretty Mami

Since Monday when I arrived from San Francisco any time my mom was napping I stood over her and said pretty mami, time to wake up. She would laugh and I said that was how I was going to communicate with her from deep in her drug induced haze.

At 4am when I woke up to drive her and my dad to the surgery I left my pretty mami a message in eyeliner on the bathroom mirror. When I was growing up since she would leave to work while we were still sleeping she would leave us these same notes or even kisses.

On her way into surgery my abuelita, my dad, me, my madrina, two tios, tia and primito all cheered her on. She was strong and I reminded my pretty mami to stay away from the light. She said she would, in exchange for seeing my pretty face.

The wait seemed interminable. We had lunch on the hospital patio, told stories, jokes, talked to family, I knew she was in good hands, I just wanted to see her pretty face.

And finally after five hours of surgery the surgeon confirmed, everything had gone well. I asked if he had seen anything, and he said no, nothing abnormal. The tumor had remained encased inside the removed kidney. Tears of relief and joy followed, then a text and phone tree.

It was late, and although we had been told otherwise we were allowed to see her in the surgery recovery room. First my dad and abuelita went. Then the tio and madrina. I went in with my sister. We had been told not to wake her.

We approached her quietly. Just starred at her for what felt like all of our allotted five minutes. The nurse said we could talk to her, but I just smiled not believing him. Then another nurse approached us and said we could hug and kiss her. I leaned over her and whispered pretty mami.

Pretty mami turned her face towards me and said as she opened her eyes, "I don' feel so pretty." I laughed and said, but you are beautiful. I stepped back and said look mami there are two pretty faces, she said we were beautiful.

Then she asked, "where's Janice?" I laughed oh mom, you want us to sing some Janice Joplin? Which song? And from her drug induced haze she sang, "Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz," and I continued my friends all have Porches I must make amends...I told her to enjoy the drugs, Janice would and gave her a kiss on the forehead.

She could see the two of us and my dad standing in the near distance and she said my family is beautiful.



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