Archive for vó madalena


turning 29 wasn’t supposed to be such an important year. usually i’m just happy with a bog cake, singing twenty times the same song “happy birthday”, get calls, smss, emails and eventually presents… allright, i’ll confess i anxiously await my presents. i’ve always been this way, i’ve always liked December 13th. 

this year everything seems different. i woke up on this day and saw a beautiful sun! for the first time in my life my birthday wasn’t flowing with rain but with an amazing ocean! i was in africa, more precisely swimming in the Indian Ocean… transparent as water, warm as paradise beaches should be and surrounded by sunshine. i had my sister with me after 6 years of only hearing her say “parabéns” through the phone, i had new friends (blond and blue eyed friends!), and i heard that cute song in my own language again!!! i was having a great day, with a few presents but with so much love and care around me.

and then the phone rang once more, and i hear her voice for the last time. part of me accepted it, part of me ignored it for myself selfishly and also for my sister who is still too little to get hurt… to me. Vó Madalena, the most beautiful name ever, said like always in a unrecognizable voice “don’t forget to pray to the Holy Spirit, he will guide you” and i did that night, for her.  i believe she knew what was going on, and i believe we both knew what was about to happen. my mother still talked to me crying but wishing me the best of my life while she held her mother’s hand and cried in silence.

in the most selfish way i did enjoy that day. i, like i said, ignored the fact that far away from me there was a room in an Old People’s Home where there were no smiles, just prayers and hope. 

i turned 29 in a country where my own grandmother arrived when she was 29 years old… she passed on to me something so big i hope i will be able to make her proud. maybe it’s history all over again… or maybe it’s just her way of saying happy birthday


a fashion statement


a good first happy birthday song! with a microphone and everything!



picnic at the beach with another magic song



instead of like always having water coming from above… i was literally surrounded by this green ocean



just the girls…


and a special day




need my beauty sleep, the sun is the best sleeping pill even on your birthday




happy birthday to me


best gift? there were few but so nice, and i can’t deny it, i finally saw aldo take over the wheel and enjoyed looking at the view just like everyone else!


to all of you who sent messages, emails, facebook notes, who called and who in a way or another thought of my special day i thank you, i hope you realised how happy i am to have you in my life. i am very lucky… thank you, it’s been 29 years, some of you less but still all so important to me. 


vó madalena 01.04.1922 – 16.12.2008

on the 13th of december when she talked to me on phone to wish me a happy birthday i couldn’t hear her, words were coming from her but she was already gone… i didn’t recognize her voice or her tone or even her heart… she was going… she was slowly giving up.
my grandmother madalena died three days later, slowly while holding my mother’s hand, apparently she didn’t suffer, she didn’t panic, she just let go and drew her last breath as if there was nothing else to do.
last time i saw her she was very smily, happy in her own way, not worried at all of her condition, still made a few remarks that makes us laugh because of her strange memory, still confused a few things that we had decided a long time ago to not correct because it was just too funny. she didn’t mind.

i didn’t have a great relationship with her, she was my mother’s mother to me, she once made me angry while i was a child and i gave up on us for 12 years, i never forgave her and she never insisted… you have no idea how much hurt and pain i feel for not being able to remember why i was so upset… what did she do to me that could made me stop holding her hand… i can’t remember and for the rest of my life i will hold on to the moment when she died as the moment that i should’ve said “i’m sorry”

for 6 years since i left lisbon i have suffered for anticipation of the things that can happen while i am away, i hated turning off my phone in case something happened but always thought if something dod happen i would fly home… until now… my sister is here and we thought about what we should do, we’ll fly back we said, but my mom decided to not let us, she said i’m here, she’s in peace and you need eachtoher there. “help eachother in this moment, let aldo and ana help you, and remember vó madalena is ok, she’s in peace and on her way to heaven… i need to be her daughter right now”
it is so hard to hear you mother be so strong when her mother has just passed away. i know she is suffering but when she talks to us she knows she has to be able to help us get through it too.

i knew this day would come when the distance between me and home would become so unbearable i would question where i am… i’m here and i won’t let this happen again…

i just hope she didn’t die angry, dissapointed, sad… just calm.
she was buried next to her husband, my grandfather mateus where he was waiting for her for the last 12 years. they’re together and i think though it will take some time we will be fine…