Friday, November 13, 2015

"In The Living Years"

Her father abandoned her and her family when she was 2 years old for another woman, for another family.  Her mother died when she was in her early teens. Raised by her aunt for a while, she went to live with one of her sisters who couldn't be bothered.

I came across a copy of her Father's obituary in the newspaper. There was no mention of my mother, or her 3 sisters, or her brother or her Mother. 
(She is the little one in the photo. Her mother is on her right)  

Then, by the time she was a teen, she bore a son. She met my Dad at a dance, they married and my Dad loved her son as his own. They went on to have 7 more children. She worked when she could and volunteered at the USO when my Dad went off to war. They had nothing and she lived on what her friends and family could help with. He came back, worked two jobs  and they scraped and saved and bought a home.

She thought her church also abandoned her only to eventually find after many years that they hadn't. By the time she was in her 70's she was volunteering at church, sewing drapes and banners for them. She even made costumes (with no patterns) for one of the church fashion show luncheons. The woman could sew.

 She was a book fiend. She read all the time. Loved a good spy thriller. She loved the classic movies and all kind of music. She had an eye for Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp. JFK could do no wrong. The biggest soft spot in her heart was for the poor. She saved her loose change and would make a trip every so many years  to a poor little border church and donated the money. I witnessed when she allowed homeless into our home to feed them.

Her family would grow to include over 86 grand and great grand-children.

She helped me raise my sons when I was a young single mother.

She made some super yummy tamales.

In the last years I would call her a couple times a week during my commute home. We had this joke where when she answered the phone I would say in  a deep voice "Hello Clarice" and she would always reply "Hello Dr Lecter".


 She loved her Bruins and she would call the football team her "mijo's"


 She did her ironing every Saturday morning while watching old Laurel and Hardy movies and I used to hear her cry from laughing so hard.
 She wasn't perfect. She was feisty and very thinned skinned. She didn't trust many.  She lived with a lot of pain in her heart. But I also know she knew joy. Lots of joy. 

She was my mother and tomorrow it will be 6 years when we lost this incredible woman.  I still miss her and there have been many times I've reached for the phone to tell her good news. I can still hear her voice now. I think about her when I put a cloth hanky in my purse, or when I wear the earrings she gave me. And I smile when I think about how beautiful she looked at my nephew Greg and Jesse Aguilar​'s wedding.  

One of her favorite songs was "In the Living Years" by Mike and the Mechanics. And if you listen to it you might get to know her a little better.        

"I wasn't there that morning
When my Father passed away
I didn't get to tell him
All the things I had to say
I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I'm sure I heard his echo
In my baby's new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years"

From "The Living Years" was written by Michael Rutherford and Brian Alexander Robertson


  1. Beautiful tribute to your mama. She knows how you miss her and love her. I'm sure of that. Your friends will hold you in their hearts tomorrow. Slow down and you'll feel them all around you.

  2. Thank you Pam. Yes, slow down, that sounds like a wonderful idea. :-)