On St. Patrick's Day, I remember my grandmother, pictured above with my older brother, because it was her birthday.
When I knew her, she would spend her birthday with us and then leave for Mexico to visit her sisters and brother. She would stay there for six months and be back for the holidays.
Not quite a snow bird, but something in that vein.
She died when I was only 5, so my memories of her are cloaked in the fog of a small child's mind.
She stayed with me a fair amount when she was in the US. It is said we could not talk to each other as she didn't speak English and I didn't speak Spanish. Actually, she chose not to speak English and I was still in the language acquisition phase, so there is no way to know what was going on in my brain.
But, when I started to speak Spanish, all those language acquisition memories were triggered. Now, I believe that we probably communicated just fine. She spoke, I understood and answered in whatever language seemed appropriate.
Besides that early imprint of language skills, I inherited from her the finger. It comes out unbidden whenever I need to slow someone's roll. Not the middle finger, that would be vulgar. The pointer finger that windshield wipes slowly or quickly depending on the need.
There may be other traits I inherited, I am just not aware.
What I know for sure is that the bond we had was real and ours alone. After she was gone in the physical form, she would sometimes visit me. I would wake in the middle of the night and see her seated at the foot of my bed, just watching. Though we had a short amount of time, I carry our relationship with me wherever I go.
Happy birthday, grandma... hope you are celebrating with family in heaven.