Columba Josefina Coello Adrianza de Gómez
12-19-1927 to 04-16-2017
This is how my grandmother looked when she was younger, probably younger than I am today. This is how I remember her from when I was a kid. Always well groomed, put together and elegant. She always wore the latest haircut and color and had her hair professionally styled once a week Her makeup was always just enough, very classic, and her skin was always moisturized, plumped and perfect. I remember it felt like silk. And she always smelled as sweet as flowers. I’ll never forget how good she always smelled. There is no question she was a beautiful woman.
More recently, I remember here more like this. When she stopped coloring her hair and went for a more natural look, embracing her years in her looks and style. Because, she always embraced her years with her wisdom, which was shared openly and generously with those who might be in need of it. If anyone was ever in need of advice, she was the one to call, everyone in her family did, frequently.
Tata was the eldest of 13 siblings. Two of them passed away at birth, but 11 remained under her tutelage, and most considered her as their second mother. She got married very young, at the age of 19, to Toti, my sweet grandfather, who passed away some nine years ago. They had seven children, of which my mom is the eldest. One of her children, the second child, Fanny, died about eight months after birth from a heart condition, which I don’t think Tata ever really got over.
Because she married so young and had a house filled with kids to look after, she didn’t go to college. She loved medicine and was an avid reader, and because what happened to Fanny, I think she made it a mission to learn as much as she could about health and the body. She was the person to call when you were sick. She would always diagnose you correctly and know exactly what you needed to do and take in order to feel better, but she also always sent you to the doctor for a “real” consult. She had a ton of faith in doctors and medicine.
Speaking of faith my grandmother was a very faith-filled and spiritual person. She lived her faith and spirituality religiously and was a practicing Catholic. I think if it had not been for my grandfather, who was more of a religious rebel, and a bit of an agnostic, if not even an atheist, I think she would have been to Church more often. I owe embracing my religious practices to my grandmother, for whom the sacraments were all very important, and even though I was allowed to embrace them at my own pace, when I decided I was ready and wanted to, a part of me always knew I would do it someday, if not only for her.
She guided me in my spiritual search and growth. She listened to my ponderings, she tried to answer my questions, she was always there for me. Mi Tatica linda. And even though I hadn’t seen her in person in the last almost seven seven years, and she was not able to make it to my wedding (in a Catholic Church, as I knew she would have liked it), I remember her and think about her daily. I miss her. I miss visiting her with my mom on some random middle of the week afternoon. I miss stopping by at the bakery to bring the goods for a merienda and a nice long chat.
Tatica, I know you are in a better place now. I know you are with Toti, and Fanny, and some of your siblings and your parents. I know you are ok. But I miss you. I’ve been missing you for quite some time now. And I’m pretty sure, I will miss you always. I don’t know if you knew how special and significant you were to me. I hope you did. I told how much I loved you, but I don’t think words can really do justice of how in debt I feel myself towards you. I truly hope you knew.
I love you, I miss you, and I will forever hold you in my heart.