Doldrums · Writing & Writers

Grandfather’s Tale

Like many of you, the first storyteller who entered my life happened to also be related to me. My grandfather – from whom I get my name – told a story that resonates with me to this day. However, originally told in Spanish, its haunting feel gets lost in translation. This isn’t the first time I spoke of this story, and it probably won’t be the last. I’ve retold it countless of times – at times only hitting the bullet points of the story when it comes to sharing familial urban lore and campfire stories. 

Every Latino/e/x family has its lore, and most of them comprise familiar characters. Stories of the wailing woman – la llorona – have been passed down from generation to generation with a little something added or subtracted from the tale. (See Gloria Anzaldua’s Prietita and the Ghost Woman/Prietita y la llorona, Xavier Garza’s  Vincent Ventura and the Curse of the Weeping Woman, and Stories that Must Not Die’s The Sobbing Woman – to name a few.)

To this day, I have not heard a single tale that comes close to my grandfather’s. Whether it was an original story, or something he carried over to this side of the border. In any case, I present to you my grandfather’s story as I remember it.

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