My grandma turned 100 last year. She lives in Colombia with the rest of my mom’s family, splitting her time between the bustling city of Medellin and the tranquil countryside of nearby Rio Negro. Needless to say, she prefers the countryside.
My parents and I traveled down there last December to celebrate Christmas and my Abuelita's birthday. We stayed at the country house, called a finca. On the day of our arrival, my parents gave me an early Christmas present: a KLOS travel guitar.
There is plenty of idle time at the finca. Surrounded by the richly green foliage, I spent hours every day playing my new guitar. I was busy learning some new tunes and working on my own composition. I couldn’t believe how bright and full the sound was for such a compact instrument.
My Abuelita, Blanca, spends most of her time sitting on the porch. She watches the hummingbirds come and go, the trees swaying in the wind. She’s losing her memory. Sometimes she forgets who we are. I love talking to my grandma, but sometimes the conversation gets a bit...repetitive.
I started sitting on the porch with her, playing the guitar and singing her songs. She absolutely loved it. For her, it was spectacular entertainment. We spent hours there. I strummed and picked my KLOS guitar, singing songs in Spanish I’d been learning. After every performance, she applauded and commented on the unique power of music.
“Te felicito,” she would say.
Where conversation failed, the songs flourished. My mom and I traded off, singing songs alone or as a duet. Sometimes my Abuelita clapped and sang along. Other times she even danced.
These daily serenades on the guitar brightened up my Abuelita's day. Being 100 is difficult. And at times a little dull. But the music gave her something different to focus on. Something alive, organic.
With my KLOS travel guitar, I was able to give her the best Christmas and birthday present I could: a little bit of joy. And for me, these are memories I’ll carry wherever I go and play.