On November 1st we took down our Halloween display and put together our "ofrenda" (altar) for "El Día de los Muertos" (The Day of the Dead). I have been making an ofrenda every year for the past several years in honor of my parents, George and Armella, who have left me here for a little while longer and have gone on to a better place where I hope to join them someday. In the meantime, however, I like to keep their earthly memory alive and let them know of my profound respect for them and my deep gratitude for all that they have given me. I should mention that my mother's name is a bit unusual. She was named after "La bonne Armelle" a saintly French serving-maid held in high veneration among the people of her time although she was never officially canonized by the Catholic Church. My mother's name, "Armella" is also very unusual in Mexico because the word "armella", pronounced "ahr-MAE-yuh" means "screw eye" like the eye that the hook of your old wooden screen door used to latch into. My Mom always thought that was pretty funny. Even though my folks are no longer alive on Earth I still feel close to them. They are a part of me. Every time I put a dirty dish in the sink I hear my mother say, "Don't leave that dish in the sink. Wash it right away and put it in the rack to dry". Whenever I am driving I hear my father say, "Slow down and don't follow so close. Watch out for that guy on your right". I think that building an ofrenda just brings that closeness feeling home and it gives me a sense of peace. I am in no hurry for my earthly life to end because I have people here whom I love also. However, I do feel that when it is time to go I will be ready. I look forward to the day when I will see my Mom and Dad again and say...
"Hi Ma, hi Dad...I'm home!"
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