My Grandmother Lilia

My maternal grandmother was a very important person to me. Her name was Lilia Ochoa de Barney.  She was a very beautiful woman in her youth and in her old age she was a very pretty “old lady”: a little fat, cheerful, vivacious, but sometimes spiteful and liked to have favorites.  I was lucky because I was her eldest granddaughter and her favorite. Lilia was a single mother all her life because my grandfather abandoned her very early during his marriage.  She raised 4 children alone, earning a living as a seamstress and cook.  She sewed and cooked for her neighbors, factory workers, and sugarcane workers.  She also knew how to give injections to relieve people’s pain. She worked a lot in her life and I don’t know if she had time to have fun, but I know she loved listening to the radio at a very loud volume and dancing alone.  She loved dulce de leche and could eat a whole “mate de dulce” in one sitting.  She also drank a lot of black coffee.  She always carried a small pot of coffee to her bedside table to drink all night. She took care of me during my first years of life when my mom traveled to the United States. I visited her frequently and liked her food.  When I came to live in Oneonta, she visited me several times, even in winter.  When my oldest son was born she stayed with me for 6 months taking care of us.  She made me chicken soups every day.  I miss my grandmother very much. She was born in 1924 and lived through all the advances and discoveries of the 20th century. She had 4 children and 10 grandchildren. Before she died she got to know 5 great-grandchildren, including my children.  However, when my youngest daughter was born, my grandmother was already sick. My grandmother suffered a stroke shortly after her 80th birthday and was in bed unable to fend for herself for almost 6 years.  These were the most difficult years of her life because she was fully aware of her useless condition. She died in the hospital in September 2013 and finally rested from her plight at the end of her life. I miss my grandmother very much, but I know that she is always with me everywhere and gives me strength to get ahead. 

~ Prof

A woman sitting in front of a playground

Leave a Reply