87 shades of brown

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This post isn’t about some freaky dude with the last name Brown.

It’s about my avó. (That’s Portuguese for grandmother.)

For over two decades, my avó wore brown. And only brown.

I used to think that she just really liked the color brown, but as with most things in life, there’s a backstory.

A backstory I only learned of recently.

a promise made and a promise kept

When my avó was in her early 20s, her young son started having severe seizures. My avó is very religious. So she made a promise to God that if her son stopped having seizures, she would wear brown for the rest of her life.

And she did for over 20 years. Why did she stop? Apparently there’s some sort of loophole that if you always carry around a medallion of a certain Saint, it’s the same as keeping your promise. She actually showed it to my sister and I while she was telling us the story.

Even after not having to wear brown anymore, she still had a whole wardrobe of it. So that’s what I remember her wearing all through my childhood. My avó is frugal. There’s no way she would have suddenly replaced all of her clothing with sky blues, bright reds and hot pinks.

I think I will always associate the color brown with her.

a glimpse at 87 years

Last week, my avó turned 87. She’s the classic matriarch of the family. Let’s just say that I wouldn’t want to mess with her. But even though she was hard on her own kids, she’s always been my loving and caring avó.

She was the one that pierced all of her granddaughters ears and took care of us while our parents went off to work. She was obsessed with serving us soup for lunch every. single. day. We eventually had to boycott. You can only eat so much soup! And the one that first introduced me to rationing by way of economizing toilet paper.

When we were little, almost every year on her birthday, she would take us kids to a local park for a picnic. I loved those picnics! She’d make fried chicken – why buy KFC when she could make it herself?

She now lives in a nursing home, so there aren’t anymore picnics . . . but we did sneak in for a surprise visit. Thankfully, she still has most of her wits about her. There was a period where she started to get quite forgetful, which was really scary for us all. She’s always had an amazing memory and been such a strong force that it was hard to take.

When my mom passed away, my avó took on more of a mother figure role for my sister and I. And then when my dad (her son) also passed away, we realized just how lucky we were to still have her in our lives – and now Baby Buttercup’s too.

So here’s to many more years and memories with my beautiful avó!

Parabéns avó! Deus te abençoe! xoxox

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