Monday, November 2, 2009
Dia de Muertos
Today in Mexico and other Latino countries is the day for the celebration known as Day of the Dead. In what appears to sound like a day of mourning and crying is actually pretty much the opposite. Dia de Muertos is actually a celebration of the life of our loved ones who have departed. The tradition is to celebrate by visiting their place of rest and bring to them a lot of gifts to make their place look happy, festive and colorful. Flowers is the first of gifts brought, maybe their favorite dish and drink, favorite music, candles. All these things look so pretty because as you know the Mexican culture and folklore is always full of bright colors.
Today I came to realize that while I was growing up we never went to the cemetery to visit anybody, I knew about the celebration but never went to one. We Didn't have anybody that was so close to us that had died and that were resting near us. My Mom's parents and siblings and my Dad's father had died many years ago, some even before I was born in their home state in Southern Mexico. It wasn't until I was 24 that my maternal grandmother passed away in Tijuana. Being the first closest member of my family that passed away. By that time I was living in California already and was very well adjusted and assimilated to living here. It took another 14 years for us to suffer a major loss. On July 2000 my Mom passed away, that was a very hard time for us and for me sometimes it still is. I didn't visit her resting place today because she is in Tijuana, and I don't make the trip there very often but I had my sister get flowers for her.
Today I went to visit my Aunt and my cousin whose resting place is in my neck of the woods, they both died last March less than 24 hours from one another. Mother and son rest together. My cousins and I brought our chairs, chatted and then prayed the rosary. We went to lunch afterwards and caught up with things going on with our kids nowadays. It was my first visit to the cemetery on this day and it was very nice to see a lot of people visiting their loved ones. Someone even brought the mariachi band! (I love mariachi). It was just the perfect day under the hot California Sun.
This is a picture of what my Mom's resting place looks like. My brother Gustavo is so good at maintaining and cleaning all the time. I am always thankful to him, and I am blessed he is my brother.