My Tradition

Reads: 813  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 1

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
When someone dies they're never truly gone.

Submitted: November 02, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 02, 2012

A A A

A A A


 

My mom had her own traditions for Christmas. She had this big box of ornaments and each one was very very delicate like you’d imagine ornaments to be. There were so many and we’d have to cram them onto our artificial tree. I was raised Catholic so we’d go to church on Christmas Eve and we’d have a big dinner. My mom was big into putting on these absolutely horrible plays too on holidays. I think my sister has the script from one Thanksgiving. That’s right there was a script. She’d write a script and assign parts to everyone at the table. She even made little headdresses for the Native American roles. It was cheesy and ridiculous and we all had a good laugh.

My mom lost her fight with cancer in May 1998.

After that, holidays really meant nothing to me. God knows my family tried, but it wasn’t the same. It just felt so hollow to me, like I had this one person in my life that busted her ass to make this holiday happen in her way. She didn’t care if it wounded your teenage ego. “No you’re going to give the best damn performance as Turkey Lurkey the misfit Pilgrim and make Thanksgiving 1992 the best damn Thanksgiving ever!” When she died it was as if my love for the holidays died also. It wasn’t so much that my love for holidays died, that part of her that was in me died also. I had all these good memories and now everything was just a dim reminder of this void I had in my soul.  

So here we are 15 years later, my 8 year marriage falls apart. Fall of 2011 is when I really started hitting bottom. I’m stuck living in the same house with my ex for the sake of my two kids. I’m having severe anxiety attacks. I’m on a Xanax a day diet rounding out with anti-depressants to keep the foundation of my life from totally crumbling. Then I start thinking about my mom. I think about how I wish she was alive for just one more day to give me some advice or tell me that everything is going to be okay. I’m trying to access these happy memories I have of her from my childhood and I think about how I’ve abandoned my Hispanic roots. About how I’ve totally neglected what it means to be a patriarch for a family. I’m this hollow shell of a man and all I have to show for it is a fat ass, a decade of my life being in a coma and a ton of missed experiences with my kids.  Then I remember the sugar skulls. My mom would keep them in this big white cabinet in our living room. I loved just taking them out and looking at them because they reminded me so much of the Disney Movie the Three Caballeros and my grandmother playing me Cri Cri records when I was a little kid. I thought about how my mom had mariachis play at her funeral. Then I thought about how packed the church was that day. That church was packed with people who came there to pay their respects to my mother. My mom touched every single one of their lives. To this day she is still remembered with great respect.

So the week of Halloween, I sit my kids down and I tell them. We’re going to celebrate Day of the Dead.  

“What is that daddy?”

“Well, that’s when we sit down and we remember all the loved ones we lost.”

“Oh, well why?”

“Because when someone dies, they’re never truly gone in your heart”

I went to the local mexican grocery store, bought a huge spread and we sat at our dining room table and we talked about everyone we lost.

One year later, my kids are just as excited about Day of the Dead as they are about Halloween. I’m stepping it up a notch and putting out pictures of my mom and their great grandfather’s medals and awards. They’re going to help me cook the meal. We’re going watch Three Caballeros tonight. I’m going to let them have a spoonful of Cajeta (goat milk caramel) just like my grandmother gave me when I was a kid. I’m going to do this because tradition and heritage are important.

Some people keep going all out with their Christmas decorations and then try to top themselves the next year. Day of the Dead is my Christmas. When I’m dead and my kids spread my ashes, they’ll mourn that my body is gone, but their memories of me are going to live on forever in tradition. I love my mom. I miss her everyday, but not so much that I have to fill that void in my heart anymore. She fills that void, in fact I really believe that there wasn’t a void there in the first place.

I just forgot that she was there. 


© Copyright 2020 brewcitysafari. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply