So Mami got here Tuesday afternoon. I didn't see her until that night, though, after choir. It was raining cats and dogs, I could barely see a couple of feet in front of my car. They called me and asked me to please stop at a grocery store and bring them ground coffee, because they ran out. Decaf for my aunt, as strong as I could find it for mom.

I walked in the house, a little wet from the rain, and took my shoes off.

We sat around the kitchen table and drank coffee, and ate some turkey my aunt had made and talked a little. I told them that as of next Monday, I'll be a permanent employee, and they sighed in relief because I'll finally have health insurance, just in time for the cold season.

Mom took out a bunch of pictures from her purse: "Your sister stole these from you father, and I took them from her to make copies."

It must've been about 50 or 60 pictures from the early 80's. The latest one must've been taken in 1984. More baby pictures of me than I had ever seen together in my entire life. Also, lots of pictures of my aunts and my grandma. Some of them were missing half, and we figured that Dad had probably torn mom out from them when they broke up. Some pictures of my older cousin, Milca, and myself. We were the first two of our generation, born three months apart, and everyone in the family was crazy about us. Well, except for my aunt Maggie, who was 10 years old at the time and felt robbed of the benefits of being the youngest in the family.

We had fun looking at the pictures, making fun of my grandma with huge hair rollers and a broom, and making Uncle Craig guess who's who in the pictures. Also, we were amazed at how much my cousin Elaine looks like my Aunt Maggie, and my cousin Silkia like my aunt Gloria, and I like my twin second cousins Blanca and Maria, and little Stevie to me when I was a baby. Or so they say. I think Steve is lots cuter. Besides, he has blue eyes, and mine are brown.

Then, it was late, and I had to leave. I hugged my Mom and kissed her cheek, and she said "I've missed you". I smiled at her like I didn't hear her, because couldn't bring myself to admit that I've missed her too. But I have, for a longer time than she imagines.