03 November 2008

The Transition - Halloween to Los Muertos

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!"

5 comments:

Bob Cox said...

That was good advice that your parents gave you. very colorful offerings.

Steve Cotton said...

Bob -- I don't know about you, but every morning is The Day of the Dead in my household. I look in the bathroom mirror and there is my dad. When did that happen?

American Mommy in Mexico said...

I so enjoyed the pictures of your alter. It is obvious you take pleasure in building it to honor your parents. You sound like a lucky fellow to hav ebeen blessed by healthy parental love.

glorv1 said...

Bob that is a beautiful tribute to your parents. You've done a wonderful job. I'm sure your parents are so proud of you. How great that you decorate so fine for Halloween as well. You are a family man. Did you get that comment from Steve? He made me laugh with that comment and you made me laugh with the comment you left on his blog about hearing trombones playing all day long. How funny. Very nice Bob. Take care.

ac said...

Hi Bob,
I'm new to your blog and was very moved by your post about your parents. It brought a tear to my eye. I am also really enjoying your dialoges [great practice for my dormant spoken Spanish skills.]
A comment to Steve Cotton:
I often open my mouth and my father comes out. It's a little scary.
thanks and keep posting!
it's good stuff!
-ac-

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About Me

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.