This Year, For Them, I’ll Polish My Nails

I see my grandmas sitting in their different kitchens. Patiently. Always busy. Enduring. Sufferers of the constant need of surviving anything that comes their way, and yet, remain hopeful. Conscious of the time they’ve had to live in. Oblivious, long ago perhaps, of the change they would have to adapt to. 

The warmest of hugs, despite the distance. A voice on the other side of the phone that sometimes lowers. Worryingly perhaps. The surrender of acknowledging that time goes by. Encapsulated in their pills. Locked in their tired minds. Two atypical women, each in their own way. The shining shadow of a past that still haunts us. The boiling patience of a generation that fades away. 

I see in my grannies everything that I wish I could become. With a pinch of salt, almost inexplicably. Hands with perfectly polished nails, reflections of the hard work that inevitably leaves a scar behind it. 

Photo albums covered in memories. Brushstrokes of a lifetime that I wish was very far from being over. I might have inherited from them both a lot more than I ever imagined. The tenacity to overcome a life very far from easy. The sweetness, the kindness of always wishing the best to your surroundings, not even glimpsing at the weight you carry behind. 

Despite not understanding my world, they inhabit it. They embrace it. In their own way, they give me wings. For one I will always polish my nails. Just in case someone (who I believe now to be me) ever decides to look at them. For the other, the insatiable tenacity to always be who I want. Even if they don’t understand. Even if it’s from afar. 

This year, unlike others, they will not offer me an extra serving. We will not have to fight. But this year, for them, I’ll polish my nails; impressing all passers-by.

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