And every time she has introduced me after that, she said the same.
In her cute accent and a smile, "This is my other daughter."
Roger's entire family has always accepted me as one of their own.
As their cousin.
When I learned I was losing Roger, one of my next biggest fear was losing them.
Losing this new found family that was close and fun.
People who loved each other.
People who celebrated each other.
People who were by each others side.
Even mine as Roger lay in his hospital bed those last six days.
The tears fell at the thought of how they were going to hate me.
How I would never see them again.
I did not want to lose them too.
And fifteen months after losing him, thankfully I still have mi familia.
About the only thing I can be grateful for right now during really hard grief this month.
They still care about me.
They still love me.
I am still their cousin, niece, sister, and daughter.
Thursday was the first Thanksgiving I have celebrated in Miami.
Like I mentioned, Roger and I normally celebrated in Orlando.
And in the prayer said before dinner, Roger's godmother said something that almost made me lose my already shaky composure.
She said she was thankful for me.
Thankful that I was still here.
The thing is I am not going anywhere.
This is mi familia.
These are my people.
One of Roger's final gifts to me.
A gift that keeps giving.
I love these people so much.
I am so thankful they are still here.
That I am still invited.
That I am still loved.
My biggest prayer is that as my life moves forward, mi familia will also love who I love.
I pray my children will have their Cuban primos, tios, tias, and of course an abuela.
So to my big Cuban family, please still be here.
Please stay here.
Please celebrate with me.
Please mourn with me.
Please continue to love me.
Without you (along with others), I would not still be here.