Nobody knew the day and month when Maria Julia was born, not even her. But she knew the year. Maria Julia didn’t know how to write or read and when she had to sign documents she did it with her fingerprint. The most remarkable thing that she ever did was giving birth to four children: three boys and one girl. She spent her life indoors cooking, cleaning the house and taking care of her husband and children. Maria Julia could not go out to see the sunshine because her husband wouldn’t allow her to do so. That’s why her skin became so pale over the years. Her voice was so low that it was hard to hear her when she talked. She was petit, sweet, calm, loving and fragile like a butterfly. One day Maria Julia was taken to the Dr. because of a deep physical pain only to find out that she was suffering from a terminal illness. From that day on Maria Julia lost weight rapidly and within a year she died, she was only 43 years old and weighted 47 pounds. The last day of her life her husband, realizing what a monster he had been with her for so long asked Maria Julia for forgiveness and for the first time in her life she said no by slowly moving her head to the right and then to the left. No was the last thing that she said. That’s how Maria Julia passed away, in physical and emotional pain, reduced to a small point in the huge universe that she didn’t have the chance to experience. That last no that my Grandma said passed to my Mom, then my Mom passed it to me and I will pass it to Natalie. No to anything that is unfair, NO to the lack of self-esteem, NO to letting anybody else destroy your dreams, NO to violence, NO to the lack of education, NO NO NO. It makes me mad that there are still women like Maria Julia in the world. I realize that behind everything I do there is always my Grandma telling me: Come on Elsita, be a strong woman, express yourself, don’t ever be afraid of anything, follow your dreams and experience the beauty of life. I called my Mom last night to say that I was making a dress that I wanted to dedicate to Grandma Maria Julia and she was so happy to hear that. So the name of the dress will be: El Jardin de Maria Julia. (Maria Julia’s Garden). The thing that Grandma loved the most were flowers and especially jasmine which is my favorite flower too since I was a little girl. I don’t think that this is a coincidence, I think that it is the tiny part of Grandma that I have in my blood. I love her so much; I have always had the dream of seeing her even for a minute.