Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mi mamá Venezolana

Mi mamá Venezolana murió esta semana. Filomena me quería como a una hija y siempre me dio excelentes consejos. La semana pasada, cuando estábamos hablando por Skype, le dije que estaba preocupada de que mi hija se trasladaría a Brasil una vez que ella se casó con su novio y ella me dijo: "Pamela! Tus hijos no son tuyos! Usted dio a luz a ella, la amaba y le enseñó y ahora tienes que dejarla ir "

Sólo he visto a ella a través de Skype desde que salí de Venezuela hace más de 20 años.

La vi por primera vez cuando mi compañera y yo estábamos caminando por una vereda de tierra en su urbanización llamado Brisas del Lago, en Maracay. Yo no sé por qué lo llamaron Brisas del Lago, porque yo nunca vi mucho de un lago y nunca se sintió una brisa. El día estaba bien caliente cuando su hijo Francisco, quien fue recientemente bautizado, me presentó a su madre Filomena.

Me ofreció un refresco y se sentó a hablar. Yo estaba allí como misionera de La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días y su hijo acababa de unirse a la iglesia. Creo que estaba contento por él, pero ella me dijo que su fe estaba en la iglesia Católica y aunque algunos de sus otros hijos quisieron ser bautizados, ella no los permitiría. Todavía no.

En años más tarde se unieron todos a la iglesia. Me he mantenido en contacto con ellos a través de cartas, correos electrónicos y ahora Skype. Ha sido una bendición y un dolor de corazón, al mismo tiempo. Para hablar con ellos, para verlos, pero no ser capaz de abrazarles.

Filomena era una madre amorosa. Ella siempre nos hizo arepas y su sonrisa podría iluminar una habitación.

Te extraño mamá. Te amo y estoy agradecida de haberte conocido y sintió su amor. Gracias por cuidarme cuando yo era una misionera cansada, y tenia calor y hambre. Te hecho de menos mamá.

Friday, April 23, 2010

When Cousins Get Together...

They sing Taylor Swift Songs...


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monkey Bra

Gather 'round little children and let me tell you a story. It's the story of The Monkey Bra.

Once upon a time, in a land not so very far away lived a lively family. They had four children, and as the years passed the children grew. They grew and they grew and they grew. Some of the children were of the female variety and as they grew they needed certain undergarments to contain, growth.

Enter The Monkey Bra.

Now I won't say which daughter was the owner of The Monkey Bra as that would cause embarrassment to said daughter. Let it suffice to say that it belonged to one of the four children. Not the male child however. I will regale you with HIS story on another occasion.

The female children continued to grow and sadly, The Monkey Bra no longer fit any of the girls after a time.

It's then that the shenanigans began. You see children, monkeys are mischievous creatures, even when printed on a cloth training bra. Little imps that they are, they began to show up in the most unexpected places.

One day the head male of the house opened his lunch box at work with all his burly co-workers in attendance and out sprang The Monkey Bra!. Much hilarity ensued. The Monkey Bra was pleased with itself.

So much so, that the following week when the head female of the house left home for work, it came along for the ride. As the head female unzipped her black leather binder on the front desk of the school where she had an appointment that day, The Monkey Bra leapt out. Grabbing it quickly and shoving it into her pocket, she thought she was safe. She was not. The school secretaries had seen The Monkey Bra and thought it was something other than what it was so the female head of the house was forced to pull it from her pocket to prove that it wasn't something lacy from Victoria's Secret. She then had to explain to the laughing secretaries The Story of the Monkey Bra, which was well received and much admired by those in attendance that day.

The Monkey Bra was again very pleased with itself. Soon it began showing up in various other places in an effort to embarrass certain members of the household. It rode along to work with the male head of the house on several occasions and once when the female head of the house came out to her vehicle she found this:

It has since been discovered hiding in suit jackets while attending church and under pillows on beds. Who knows where the wily scampering Monkey Bra will show up next?

Update: Somehow it was scrunched into a prescription bottle and when the bottle was opened it flew out like a snake on a spring.

Friday, April 16, 2010 have to do what you have to do...

It's been a bit since I've written. I know, I know. You've missed me horribly. Here's a hankie.

We had a delightful Easter dinner here at our house with 18 or so bodies, three different tables and massive quantities of excellent food. See?

And here are the three tables of humans.

It was a lovey meal. We used my mother's china and that always makes me feel a bit closer to her.

It's been raining a lot, which has meant that our basement room project has been set back yet again as water is seeping into one entire wall. This is not something we are enjoying so that's all I'm going to say about that. (Yes, that was me being Forrest Gump)

I've been doing a lot of Interpreting, which I'm loving more and more. Lance is still working---or rather he goes to work but there is no work for them to do so he's bored out of his mind most of the time.

We've had some stress of late (who hasn't?) so this morning after we dropped Ash off at school we did something out of character for us.

We had to fill our gas tank, so we did. Sunshine was spilling through the sunroof as we drove away from the gas station and I suddenly realized that I didn't want to go pick up the dry cleaning. I didn't want to stop at the store because we were out of milk. I didn't want to go home.

I wanted this..

And this...

And of course...more of this...

So I did. We did I mean. Get those things.
Then on the way home I got to bask in the joy of this.... was foolish and silly and I'll always be glad we just ran away from the city for a few hours to be alone on the beach at the cabin. I'd do it again. In weekend....

Friday, April 02, 2010

Funerals Make You Think Deep Thoughts...

Or maybe that's just me.

I attended the funeral of a dear family friend this afternoon. As I sat there and watched the people arriving, I saw a lot of people I haven't seen in a very long time. It was a reunion of sorts---not the kind of reason you want to have a gathering, but sometimes in our busy lives this is what happens. Weddings and funerals become the places where we get to hug people that we love, but simply haven't the time to spend with in our everyday running arounds. (Yes, 'arounds' is a legitimate word. Honest. Ok, maybe not but I'm still using it.)

As Don's children rose to the podium and spoke about their father, I looked around at the people sitting in the chapel with me. As Don was in his 80's, the majority of the mourners in attendance had gray hair or no hair at all. I have recently made a somewhat unsuccessful attempt to hide the white blossoming on my own head.

All that is beside the point I was going to make. Yes, there was a point here and if I wait long enough with my fingers poised over the keyboard I'm quite certain it will return to me......

Or not.....

Oh yes! Now I remember.

I listened to how Don was remembered. He was always willing to give of his time and talents to those who needed him. He was a gifted mechanic. He was often terse and sometimes cranky. He always carried lifesavers with him and often handed them out to others at church.

We enjoyed some laughter when a few anecdotes were told and there were tears during the times we were reminded that Don is not really gone, he's simply gone on. That he is with his loved ones who have also gone on.

...and I wondered how I will be remembered when I 'go on'. I know how I see myself, but I don't know how others see me. Not truly. I mean, I know what SOME of you think of me (Hush) and I think I know how others may view me, but it is my own view of myself that stands out and it never quite measures up to how I'd LIKE to see myself.

Am I making much sense here?

I suppose what I'm asking is this: How would YOU like to be remembered at your funeral service? Are you planning your own or are you leaving it to those you leave behind? What songs would you like played or sung? Who would you like to speak?

Go ahead...tell me. I'd love to know.