Over the years, it was always the same. We spoke far more often with hugs, kisses, and awkward smiles than with actual words. As a result, we never really talked. I couldn’t ask her what her childhood was like or about life in Castro’s Cuba. I’m guessing she knew a lot more about me, having watched me grow up. But I can’t remember her ever once asking, “How’s school?” or “Do you have a boyfriend?” Things only got worse when my abuelita lost her hearing. It no longer mattered whether I asked her, “How are you feeling?” or troubled with, “Como te sientes?” All of a sudden, she couldn’t understand anything at all. She was often confused, and when someone spoke to her she’d giggle nervously and shrug her shoulders.