This is her last week. She has been with us for eleven years. I still remember the day we met at the local Carrefour café for her interview for the position of nanny/household help. We had just arrived in Madrid a few weeks earlier ready to build yet another home in a new country. She turned up accompanied by her daughter who was checking out the English books section when I introduced myself. Now that's what I call a good first impression. The Columbian lady was reserved and didn't say much. However, she came with good recommendations and therefore I decided I liked this mother-daughter duo and would give it a try.
Yadira started working for us a few days later and has stayed with us ever since. She has long become part of the family, threating to leave us every time we move but then decides otherwise because she is too attached to the kids. She admitted to me a few years ago: "Señora, I would have never believed I would travel the world at my age. Gracias!"
This proud, stoic, strong-minded, stubborn lady has reached the age of sixty-five and has decided to retire returning home to her native Colombia which she left as a teenager in search of work. She has put her two daughters through college single-handedly whom today are charming young ladies pursuing their own careers in multinational companies.
To our kids she has been their confidant and rock. The person they could turn to with whatever concern, worry, or doubt they might have. She always had good advice to share. Mummy would try to give them the answer. Daddy would make a lecture out of it but Yadira would listen and ask questions.
Expat daughter has grown up with Yadira always by her side, fiercly defending her in any situation or from anybody suspicious. Yadira's definition of suspicious being anyone not part of the family! She and my eleven-year old have that very special bond of a lifetime together. When they play games, cook, watch TV shows or just chat together, it is a delight to watch their complicity and listen to their giggles over jokes that only they understand.
Expat boy took a few years to properly bond with Yadira. My guess is she was used to girls because she has two of her own. However, through their shared passion for tennis and football they built a connection over time that is unique and very special to both of them. The highlight of Yadira's year is when my teenage boy takes her off to Roland Garros as his date!
Yadira has always been there for us. She is the family's pillar. When all of us are frantically running around leading our lives we know that when we come home, her smiling familiar face will open the door happy to see us. We shared our path for more than a decade. They were eleven, unforgettable years together which would had never been such fun or so serene without her. She always looked out for us and never, ever has she failed us. She knows that she has a place very, very special in each of our hearts.