Thursday, July 3, 2014

Don't let me forget.

Of my Mexican, Spanish, and Indigenous ancestors.

The stories you told me of your dad, Diego, my great-great-grandfather, leaving to war when you were just a three-year-old girl. You never saw him again, but you clearly remembered him when you were a ninety-five-year-old girl.

Your sense of humor. The way you stuck your tongue out at us, your great-grandchildren. You would also let us piggy-back ride on your wheelchair.

The way you ate your eggs. They looked like soup! You also had Tang every day.

That day my parents named my youngest brother after your husband, Salvador, my great-grandfather.

Although I never saw it, my mom told me you had two crooked toes – the same two crooked toes I have.

The way you allowed my sister and I to take off your boots and hang your cowboy hat after a long day at work. Sometimes, you would allow us to play dress-up with them!

The cigarette smell of your shirts. That day you pretended to be mad at Diana and I for burning your pack of cigarettes in the toaster. It was our attempt to make you quit smoking.

When you used to help me count coins at our family, butane gas company. As you got older, I remember helping you count and when you left this world, I did it on my own. You taught me how to love and “run” our company.

The love you had for your “casita” (little house) and your “ranchito” (little ranch). The horses, the cold water well, the white house with a green roof, the hay stacks we climbed, the corn, the Easter egg-hunts, the swings, the ranch caretakers, the old gas tanks, the fear of the outhouse (restroom).

The stories you told me of your mom requesting that you and your sister walk to your church to celebrate Mass, every day, with a mantilla (head covering) on.

The endless pancake stacks you made us, your grand-children, when we stayed overnight.

The stories you told me of your courtship days.

The Christmas cake you always made during Christmas time. I promise to make it for my (yours, too) future family and tell them about you.

Your beloved dog, “Minguis”.



When you, Tito, would allow my sister, my cousin and I to make you ponytails and place the biggest bows on your hair while you sat on your favorite couch.

Your white/gray hair and its baby oil smell.  

The trips to your ranch. The bamboo beaded door and the sound it made as you went past it. The river. The tire swings. The pool.

The story my mom told me about you when you saw newborn me for the first time. She said I stole and softened your heart.

The trips to Walmart and the Icee you would buy for us every time we went.

The stories you would tell me of your school (for girls) days, owned by Catholic nuns in our community. The ring I wear, your class ring, will always remind me of them.

The way you braid your long, dark hair. Your green eyes. The resemblance we have with each other.  

That you walked to work every day. You never learned to drive.

The joy of having a big family. You and grandfather had seven children.

The way you taught us our prayers when we stayed over at your house. The excitement over the bunk beds!

 Grandfather’s portrait. It has been on the same spot for as long as I can remember.

The way you save everything. Every item you own has a special meaning.  


You are my roots. You are my home. Don’t let me forget that.

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Thank you for reading! This is a small collection of memories that I have of my great-grandmothers and my grandparents. I am so thankful for my sense of curiosity when I was young girl, as I want to tell these stories to my children (God willing). What a better way than "writing" them so I won't forget? :-)

Love,
Gabby
(Family surnames: Hernandez, Villarreal, Zapata, Martinez, Pena, Muzquiz, Tijerina, Robles)


8 comments:

  1. Beautiful post! Family history is so precious and interesting...it is sad when for many people much is forgotten.

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    1. Thank you! Yes! I remember my dad telling me to "ask them" (my grandparents) about our family's history - before it was lost in time!

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  2. What a sweet post! Thank you for sharing :)

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

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  3. This post if so beautiful and precious! <3

    P.S. You have been nominated for the Sunflower Blogger Award, here: http://bloggingcryslyn.blogspot.com/2014/07/sunflower-blogger-award.html

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    1. Thank you, Cryslyn! I will be sure to answer them as soon as possible! I always have so much fun doing these awards! ;-)

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  4. Your this post made me a bit sad. I miss my family, especially my granny. I saw her for the last time on last august and she passed away on January this year. I remember my last holiday in Russia with her, my mum and my sister's family - superrr moments.

    Stay blessed and happy. x

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    1. Oh, Liuba! I am so sorry for your loss! She will always be with you in spirit - I truly believe that. Sometimes I reallyyy miss my family, too. But then I remember that God has called me to be in a place, for His purpose and His plan, not mine. :-)

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