my grandmother, my Mom’s mother
called my father James. His name was not James. Now, his last name, Santiago, is James in English. I learned this much later in life. When I was young I was always curious, but never asked. Even as a little girl I used to wonder why she called my father by a different name. My parents divorced before I was old enough to remember them together.
She would ask this in Spanish, of course. ¿Cómo está James? I can still hear and see her. Always with a smile, she asked.
so i asked my mother why
Actually, I asked her when I asked about the wedding photograph.
I presumed the answer would be: Mami knew his last name, Santiago, is James in English and liked to call him that.
but, oh no …
That is not the answer I got. “She called him James because we only knew him as James. He introduced himself to me as James, and so I introduced him to my family as James. I never, even after I found out his real name, called him anything else.” Whaaaat?
amazed at still being (pleasantly) surprised
which is just lovely
and leads back to the title
If I get a photograph of my grandmother Sofia, I will updateThere is only one of her in my mind