My youngest nephew Jadiel is a sickly boy, making me very protective of him. When he was 4 months old he became so ill that he ended up in the emergency room where he was diagnosed with meningitis.
He ended up in the ICU for five days where he suffered through a spinal tap, and numerous blood tests. I took over the night shift on the fourth night. In between lullabies the fear of losing him shortened my breathing. I knew he was on his way to recovery, but I couldn’t shake that fear. There was so much he needed to know, so much I needed to tell him.
Because my chronic illness makes a traditional job impossible I stayed with Jadiel for a week after his release from the hospital. That week I sang to him, in Spanish and English; I told him where our people came from; what our elders were like; how we were a blend of Africa, Europe and Tainos (the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean). He had no idea what I was blabbering on about, but I felt an urge to share everything with him. Those moments we shared during that week are my inheritance to him.