My happiest happy place is Mallorca, Spain. Its beauty is unrivaled in my biased eyes. The people I get to see and spend time with are wonderful; and the memories I have go back to when I was just months old. My grandmother, my Abuela, has a house there. She and my late grandfather made it a family gathering place, which for the first eighteen years of my life I found myself at without fail for a month of each summer. It’s the most permanent home I’ve had, the house I know like the back of my hand, the air I can smell even when I’m not there. I know how many steps there are to the sea--132--and the best places to spend siesta. It’s a place that fills me with joy, andwhere I’ve had the time to make memories and connections with my Spanish family.
I was twelve when my grandfather passed away; I had gotten to know him, which is more than my younger cousins can say, so I’m lucky for it; but my memories aren’t fully intact either. I remember what a kid would, how he would hang up our drawings in his office, saving and appreciating each one. How he made me feel special, and was just fun. How he was just the kind of grandfather who always has a trick to entertain with or treats to give out. And how he taught us things, because he was very smart and wanted us to be too. One of the last conversations we had, he was teaching me the names of the winds--which ones blew east to west versus north to south or vice versa. He loved Mallorca, maybe more than I do, which is saying a lot, but I feel like keeping that love alive, its origin from family, is what pays him tribute. It’s what we all do not only because he was a part of sparking it within us in the first place, but because he would’ve kept it up with us.