It was supposed to be my family’s first time in our home island of Puerto Rico for Christmas in over 30 years. The trip was urgent as my grandmother on my father’s side had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It may have been one of the last holidays we could spend with her before we lose her to this disease. My mother’s side of the family had already prepared an extravagant homecoming for us with traditional Puerto Rican dishes: a party to reunite both families during a challenging time.
The plan to get there seemed almost too good to be true. My parents and I would fly to the Tampa International Airport on Christmas Eve where my sister would join us after flying in from San Antonio that same morning. From there, as a family, we would fly together to the San Juan Airport that evening. But that’s not how things turned out.
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