When I enter my aunt’s house main room in Papantla, Veracruz,
I can feel the melancholy possessing me.
In that room, my aunt María, saves her most loved possessions,
all made of remembrances and love.
Her most beloved treasure is a picture of two old persons
who look energetic, but loving at the same time.
Those two persons are my aunt and mother’s parents,
therefore, my grandparents.
The picture of my grandparents is nailed to the concrete wall.
The wall has changed of color and
it is obvious how time has affected that wall,
however, the portrait has stayed in the same place for many years.
I never met them and that’s why I had never recognized them until my aunt explained me who were those old persons. I remember when I was little and asked for the first time who they were. Aunt, why is that picture so special? My aunt answered me patiently: That old lady, with green eyes and a big smile is your grandmother. That strong man who looks calmed and in peace is your grandfather.
These people in the portrait are the most loving parents that can ever exist. The portrait looks very old. Other portraits in the room are full of dust and spider webs, but not the one of my grandparents.
This portrait taken by an unknown photographer is always clean and maybe is the most conserved portrait in the room. The picture was taken in a sunny day, my aunt always repeats that the picture was taken after my uncle Joaquin’s wedding. My mother always says she cannot remember that particular moment, so they always argue about the day the picture was taken. I think that probably my aunt is right. At least, I can assume that the picture was taken in a special day because of the clothes that my grandparents were wearing. My grandmother was wearing a silk dress, a blue one.
The picture was taken black and white and after that, it was colored by the photographer. My grandfather was wearing a blue shirt too. Both of my grandparents have a look of gratitude. The wooden portrait frame was broken once. I remember how my aunt Maria chased me for days until I fixed it with some nails and glue. Sometimes, when I go to her house during vacations she makes me and my sister decorate the portrait with some flowers made of paper and cornhusks. Every day and every night, my aunt stands in front of the portrait, and she prays for the souls of those loving persons and she prays to them to take care of the family.