The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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I had the opportunity to interview my mom over the phone and listen to what she explained as the most memorable moment of her childhood. I could tell how much this memory meant to her just by the way she passionately spoke about that day. 

My mom was very smart for her age as she graduated high school at 16 right after that. She has always had friends and family around her supporting her and making life enjoyable. Family is the top priority to her, but her friends mean just as much. Although she doesn’t get to see her friends that much from when she was a kid, she keeps in touch with them always. 

As she showed me the old photograph from that day, she ended her story with, 
“But all good things come to an end...this photo was the end of an era
We are now all mothers and professionals., a Nurse, a Retired Detective, a Real Estate Agent and an Independent Business Consultant.  Life has led us in many directions, but the lessons learned in those eight years molded us to the woman we ultimate became, the caretaker, the peacekeeper, the negotiator, and the organizer. I certainly would not wish the smallest change to those moments.” She even explained in the picture how because of the separation she was pretty upset and her and Caroline didn’t even smile because of the event.

Hearing that just made me think how grateful we should be for our lives. Everything happens for a reason, things will always get better. I was taught that you should never give up no matter how hard times get, and you need to push through the things thrown at you. She is to me, the true form of strength, no matter what life through at her she would always find the good in things, whether it was a lesson or just to appreciate the little things.

She couldn’t believe the day is finally here. They had waited 8 long years, and their day finally came!

She begged her Doña Patty to custom make her dress.  The perfect idea was set in her mind. The dress needed to have the prettiest flowers, and it would fit perfect, flowing just like the gown on Miss America.  It was a one of a kind masterpiece! With that dress she felt she was the most beautiful girl in the whole city as she proudly walked with her “no one else has this” strut.

That morning an interesting idea had come to mind, “I will shock everyone, I am going to CUT my hair!”. With that she cut off all her curls leaving very little left. This was the first change of many.

She couldn’t believe it, no more elementary school, no more being called little kids. She could not wait for this day to come. The impact was just a small change in their lives but is going to have quite an impact on them all so much.

Violet, the caretaker of the group, Diana the negotiator who can convince the group to do anything, Caroline the enforcer and bodyguard and Keisha the organizer keeping them in check. They were going to make a difference in the world. They really had known each other forever. Her and Caroline started 1st grade together, Keisha came in 3rd grade and Diana met them in 5th, after that they had been with each other ever since.  

They will have their Menudo memories, a band which they all loved, to keep them together forever. She always hoped to sit back one day and laugh at how crazy they looked with those jumpsuits, dancing on stage like back up dancers wishing Johnny, Charlie, Miguel and Ricky were watching them, cheering them on. That bond should hold close for forever. The four musketeers, they are inseparable, they are going to change the world!

That was the plan but how wrong about that she was. At one moment she overheard something about moving from Diana! “That’s just a “small change” in the plan, right?”, she thought. Again, she was terribly wrong. Also, Caroline is not even getting into the same high school. This was more than just “small change” at that point. The strong bonded group was breaking up.

Everything changed after the start of high school. The picture they all had vanished and had broken up. This change was huge, but it couldn’t keep them separated for the rest of their lives.

Menudo “Small Change”

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June, 1984
Spanish Harlem “El Barrio”

I had the opportunity to interview my mom over the phone and listen to what she explained as the most memorable moment of her childhood. I could tell how much this memory meant to her just by the way she passionately spoke about that day.

My mom was very smart for her age as she graduated high school at 16 right after that. She has always had friends and family around her supporting her and making life enjoyable. Family is the top priority to her, but her friends mean just as much. Although she doesn’t get to see her friends that much from when she was a kid, she keeps in touch with them always.

As she showed me the old photograph from that day, she ended her story with,
“But all good things come to an end...this photo was the end of an era
We are now all mothers and professionals., a Nurse, a Retired Detective, a Real Estate Agent and an Independent Business Consultant. Life has led us in many directions, but the lessons learned in those eight years molded us to the woman we ultimate became, the caretaker, the peacekeeper, the negotiator, and the organizer. I certainly would not wish the smallest change to those moments.” She even explained in the picture how because of the separation she was pretty upset and her and Caroline didn’t even smile because of the event.

Hearing that just made me think how grateful we should be for our lives. Everything happens for a reason, things will always get better. I was taught that you should never give up no matter how hard times get, and you need to push through the things thrown at you. She is to me, the true form of strength, no matter what life through at her she would always find the good in things, whether it was a lesson or just to appreciate the little things.

Decade: 1980s
Rating:
Recorded by Miles Cruz on December 4, 2018
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