Last night, I went through hundreds of pictures I collected over the years. How nostalgic I felt when I saw the picture of two women, a mother and daughter, who I have come to consider as family. I first met them both when I left home and moved to Madrid to pursue my studies in university. They owned and ran a Chinese restaurant close to my dorm in the Moncloa area. Every time food served in the dorm was lousy, I often made a quick trip to their place to fill myself up.
We saw each other every single day while I was in Spain and I, in fact, lived with them for a few months prior to my return to the US. I even met their favorite uncle who loved spending his summer breaks in Madrid and who I also lovingly called "uncle" right from the day we met. The mother considered me her son while I considered her daughter my younger sister. Oh what sweet times those were.
It would take decades before I would see them again. After I returned to the US, they in turn moved to London. We still talked on the phone every time I went to the UK or when they vacationed in Los Angeles where they also have family. Then we lost touch. Through the magic of Facebook, we reconnected last 2018. The daughter kept asking me to see them during my vacations to Europe until two summers ago when I finally did. Little did I know it would be my last time to see my "younger sister".
She passed away unexpectedly April 2020. I often feel that God planned it so we could be together again as one whole family one more time.