So the Mother of the “Doobie-Brothers” that live across the office passed away the other day. That’s what we call the guys from out front that sell Herb and other stuff…thanks to them Sunday mornings smell sweet, making the day coast along like the waves.
God knows if they also consume the rest of the shit they deal; they’ve been busted by the cops a couple of times – white pick-up with bright blue and red lights to match, but as far as I know they’ve never been disrespectful to any of us girls at work.
The day after the First Night of Mourning, one of them was sitting on the stairs on the street leading up to our building. He was wearing the same black sunglasses he regularly uses to cover his blood-shot, sparkling eyes…that day, I’m sure that no matter how much he smoked there wouldn’t have been any glitter in them at all. 😦
As I walked up the stairs, bashfully asking for permission to pass, I stammered into asking about the Doña; he nodded and say yes. I asked about the little girl, his 4-year old daughter that his mother takes care off – he said she was fine; so I asked about him, and of course he said he was the same.Then, an awkward milli-second where despite deeply feeling his pain, all that came out of my mouth was “buen día”.
How the hell do you expect him to have a good one on the day his mom dies of cancer???
Nice one, Andy! Whose smoking crack now? 😐
Upon entering the office, I immediately asked the girls how one expresses their condolences in Mexican street talk. There were a lot of suggested formal expressions, but none of them seemed to convey what I would’ve wanted to say.
5 minutes after, still not being able to get over of how such an idiot I was, I clipped a fully bloomed yellow rose from one of the office plants, opened the gate and walked back to where The Neighbor was sitting…
“Perdón, no sabía que decir más temprano. Pero tal vez pueden poner esto en el altar de su Mamá…lo siento mucho.”
(“Excuse me, I didn’t know what to say earlier. But maybe you can put this flower on your Mother’s altar…I’m really sorry.”)
He said thank you, and I went back to work.
Definitely wasn’t the typical neighborly exchange, but it was much more genuine and heartfelt than most of the conversations I’ve had all week. For a moment, their tabloid-worthy narco-story was a non-issue; all of a sudden the judgement melted away and they were just another family that lost a mother, wife, and grandmother.
So what if they have a not-so-clandestine illegal drug-store operating from home?
At the end of the day, weren’t they just Humans suffering pain and loss?
At least for now, how they make a living is irrelevant.
RIP to the Doña from across the street.
My first experience of death within the family (that I remember about anyway) was when my grandfather died. Lolo – gramps in Filipino. Jose Molina Alberto.
I don’t remember what I was told about what was truly UP, or what was going on…what of Death, After Life. I do remember being SOOO chicken-shit about ghosts though.
(TRUE STORY! Parts of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen? I have learned to delete from my mind, but only after feeling intense fear of whatever the heck it was in the first place! :Ç)
I first had to explain death to Ananta at 3.
Our cat Pushkin died. (He was murdered, actually – by the biggest tomcat in the neighborhood. Another TRUE STORY)
I told her Pushkin died, which means we wouldn’t be seeing his body any longer. So what will happen is, his body Will Go Back to the Earth, and his Spirit? It will go to the Sky, where Great Spirit Is.
(Great Spirit is The One that gives Life to All – the bushes, bugs, birds, beasts etc…Everything that lives has a Spirit, and it all comes from Hunab Ku, where Great Spirit lives. )
So, we can be sad for a moment, but its more beautiful to remember our departed loved ones**, because that’s when they Live On Forever in our Hearts, and become Angels!
**This is what I love about Mexico! They celebrate the Day of the Dead – celebrate as in fiesta! Food, flowers, mariachi…it could be the whole shebang! Or simply, making a colorful altar with pictures and offerings to Nuestros Muertitos (Our Beloved Dead) – which they did in playschool, thankfully! Because I didn’t grow up with that tradition.
So today It Came To Me that remembering our Ancestors is a practice that I should be inculcating into my Little One…
AKA Dead Loved Ones.
But also, The Living Elders.
(AKA Grandma and Gramps)
Including Ti@s. Padrinos. Madrinas. (siiii! lets visit the Madrinas!!!)
Which means, I think that’s what we should be doing for her birthday!!!! The idea is to do something for the first time, so it will be better remembered…
(Already?! I know! Damn…)
On her 3rd it was dolphins, this year let it be the rest of the animal kingdom! A museum trip! And remembering my Abuelos, her bis-abuelos from my side.
(I´m so grateful that she´s met her bis-abuela Hilda from E´s side!)
It doesn’t hurt to dream out loud and ask for help from our Ancestors and Angels, right? 😉