Abuela Alma is obsessed with their proper place in the community and in fulfilling the needs of the town; she frames things in terms of what her family “owes” their neighbors, the town, and each other. She sees them as a collective unit that must do good for everyone around them. She says “our community is our home, make your family proud! We serve this blessed community! They are counting on us!” Alma repeats her mantra many times that they must serve others and do what is right by them, with the inference that anyone who does not contribute to the greater whole is worthless. She focuses on how they must all work together as a group, rather than allows for individualism within the family – she doesn’t realize most of them are adapting themselves to fit what she wants and expects from them, rather than being true to their own feelings. Alma has gone through a lot in life, which has reinforced her current views of what keeps them stable as a family. She draws from the loss of her husband after the birth of their children, the miracle of the candle, and her fears about what could happen if they “let down” the community and channels it into very precise ideas of what they as a family should do. The more things happen, the more she relies on them, and the greater her distress when their pattern disappears. Mirabel not receiving a room and a noticeable gift terrified her, since it might infer the power of the candle is fading. She tries to ignore Mirabel, and hope that she is not a bad omen of things to come, ever since then. She doesn’t like to think about Bruno, because his ability to tell the future warned them of negative things that seemed then to come true. She is plagued by inferior worst-case-scenario fears and negativity about what might happen if the candle goes out. She also isn’t able to see past the obvious lack of a door for Mirabel, and wonder what else it means, or why the candle would leave her granddaughter “without” a gift. It never occurs to her the gift might be hidden. It’s only when she loses everything that she can think through her decisions, see how they lead to this moment, and admit that she was wrong and needs forgiveness. She also wants to know why this is happening.

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Alma is preoccupied with doing what is right, and serving in the community; she expects her loved ones to honor the gift of the candle by repaying it through kindness to others, for them to be unselfish and devoted to the welfare of everyone around them. In her devotion to doing what is right, she can come across as distant to Mirabel, and her own daughter asks her to please be more welcoming to her. Alma finds that hard, since Mirabel is the “broken” one in the family – and she wants a perfect one, all gifted, generous, and useful! It’s extremely hard for her to accept that one of them has no (visible) gift, because that lets them all down (and looks bad in the eyes of the community). It’s hard for her to admit that she has been wrong. Alma has a strong 2 wing in that she orients everyone toward constant helping.