Chapter No. 7: To My First Love, My Mother

To my first love, my mother, Monica,

It’s been thirty-one years since we first met in your beloved hometown of Madrid. I wish I could remember that sun-soaked afternoon in August when I first saw your beautiful face. While holding me in your arms, you said my name for the very first time - Alejandra. Since that day, like home, you have always been where my heart is. Yours is the purest love I will ever know.

You are my very first memory, and what a memory it is. Reflected in your eyes, I saw my first laugh, my first tears. Holding your hands, I took my first steps and slowly, yet confidently, learned to make my way in this world. Thank you for teaching me to believe in myself always, for loving me enough to set boundaries, for trusting me absolutely, and for allowing me to explore the world with self-assurance and wide-eyed curiosity.

Your strength has been an inspiration to me for all these years. No matter how tough times were, no matter what hardships arose, your beautiful voice, your sage wisdom, and kind words have gotten me through any challenge I have faced - with the utmost grace. It is through your example, your elegance and dignity, that I have become the woman I am today.

You also passed down to me your unique creative sensibility and the essence of your personal style, at once sophisticated and nonchalant. You taught me how to knit at the mere age of four, a skill you learned from your own mother. Through your exquisite paintings which reflect the world you see and the visions of your vivid imagination, you instilled in me a love of print, color, and most importantly, the significance of individual expression.

You are the root of what I do, my greatest joy and my greatest source of inspiration. I love you. Happy Mother’s Day.

Your Daughter,

Alejandra

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