Valley Park Apartments

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Sing Little Bird, Sing

There was a nest, right there in our backyard, that brought joy to our home. It was a sort of symbiosis; we would feed and relieve the house sparrows of their thirst, and they would relieve us of our stress.

Four birds in a nest, one a mama and one a papa. The other two were the babies of the family, they could not yet sing.

Chirp chirp !

My dad wondered when the family would leave, I wondered when the kids would sing.

Chirp chirp!

My mom kept feeding them, nurturing them, hoping the birds would become our new pets someday.

Chirp chirp!

My brother was indifferent, he just liked to feed the birds their seeds. Maybe he wanted to see the baby birds grow.

Chirp Chirp Chirp!

Three birds singing, a tune so sweet, sweet like pan dulce. That would be breakfast.

Chirp chirp chirp!

Still one bird missing from the family, one bird that didn’t sing with the rest. Was it shy? Was it afraid of being embarrassed? Or did it have the most beautiful voice that only the purest of hearts could hear?

Chirp chirp chirp!

The three birds would wake me up when it was time to go to school, they would make me feel better when I felt like a fool.

Chirp chirp chirp!

A presentation the next day, I would have to stand all alone and sing in front of a class full of chirping birds.

Chirp chirp chirp!

Maybe the bird didn’t want to sing because it was nervous? Or it had too much to eat? Or maybe it was waiting for the perfect moment?

Chirp chirp chirp!

Maybe I was waiting for the perfect moment and I shouldn’t be afraid to let my voice out, maybe I shouldn’t be embarrased and I shouldn’t be shy and I shouldn’t be afraid of other people calling my voice ugly or my presentation bad.

Chirp chirp chirp chirp chirp!

So we sang

A Moment that Wouldn’t Last

My mom says they’re gifts from the past, moments you can’t document or record but a moment you will remember forever and ever.

Like that one time I got an ward at school she said, or that one time I scored that one goal at that one tournament at that one game. I thought these were bad examples. I didn’t get it.

Maybe it was like that one time I first met my friends, or that one time when my brother was born, or maybe that one time I ate a piece of carne asada whole.

No that wasn’t it. I couldn’t remember those moments clearly, and mom said they were moments you wouldn’t lose grip of. Maybe I haven’t had one of these moments yet.

In month of my birthday, my mom told me my grandparents from Mexico, her parents, were coming. Apparently they haven’t been to the Unites States for more than twelve years, and everyone in my extended family would be in one house to welcome them. I shrugged. I didn’t know them, I’ve never met them. They would be here in five days.

Five days, five days, they went by like the soft ocean breeze  you feel when you’re at the beach.

And there they were, in my aunt’s house, my grandpa and my grandma. I don’t know what it was, but when I first saw them I broke into tears and embraced both of them.

“Hola mijo!”

Two words, soft yet hard to swallow like peanut butter. I felt mushy inside, like if my grandpa and grandma are what were missing to make my life stable. Mushy like the two words that made me cry even more.

I would never forget this moment. Maybe it was the circumstances, or maybe the weather, like that one time my brother cried because it was too hot. But the overwhelming emotion I felt when I saw and heard my grandparents wouldn’t last. The emotion I felt would never be repeated again. The moment I met my grandparents was a gift from the past.

Viva la Vida

One of my favorite songs, a song me and my friend would listen to everyday. We would listen to it at the sandy playground, at the grassy field, on top of the apartment complex’s carports.

Bill says he likes it because it has a nice melody, a nice beat to it that makes you want to twiddle your fingers in the air.

I thought I liked it because of the title, a piece of advice from Coldplay to just live your life without precaution. But if that’s what the title said, then the lyrics were about something completely different. A song about the downfall of one king and the rise of another, only to see the latter fall from his position of power and into a life of loneliness and regret.

A tale of loss and remorse, the tune of the human struggle. The song served as an explanation for the tragedies and failures of life. The song reflected that while it is possible to reach great heights, it is also possible to fall from great heights.

One day news came that my grandmother, my father’s mother had died. She was important to me. She had taught me to count in Spanish and was the first person I called “abuela”. They say she died happy on her land in Mexico, amongst many uncles and aunts that I had never met. Uncles and aunts that I could count in Spanish because of her.

She was gone, and maybe I was more devastated than my dad. My grandmother was the first close relative that I had lost. At the young age of twelve, I had learned that happiness and joy were built on upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand.