Mama continued to work on the chili sauce, big tears dripping down her face and her hands bright red from the acid from chilies. I got a tissue and came to wipe her face for her knowing that if her hands came anywhere near her face that things would go from bad to worse. "What is that thing called, Mama?" I pointed to the stone thing Mama was putting the chilies in. "This is called a stone grinder" said Mama. "A long time ago, when I first was married to your Father, your Grandmother tried to teach me to cook." said Mama and she giggled. My Grandmother spoke no English other than "hello" and "yes". "Your Grandmother would talk and talk and use her hands trying to explain to me how to cook these dishes. I was patient and tried to understand her, but couldn't. As time went on I stopped listening and started writing things down and watching what she did and I learned a lot and became a good cook. Your Grandfather was watching the whole time and told your Daddy that after his next trip to Mexico he was going to bring me something special. When he returned he brought with him the stone grinder and your Grandmother taught me to make the green chili, which was your Daddy's favorite." I listened as my Mother spoke about the grinder and my Grandparents, who I had never met. My Mother shared with me that afternoon that her own family had turned her away and wanted nothing to do with her. My Father's family had welcomed her as one of their own even though she was not Hispanic. In the 1950's, when they got married, people from different places did not marry each-other. In the 1950's there were not a lot of Mexicans in the country and people did not treat them nicely. She was touched by the love they had shown her.
Mama cleaned up the chili and washed her hands a few times. I told her that tonight I was going to taste the chili and she said that is was too hot for me. (which it was, making me cry)