It is October again. I love this season! I love Halloween and The Day of The Dead Festivities in November. It is a bittersweet time for me because 7 years ago one of the most influential people in my life, my grandmother, passed away.
This year, I decided to write about her.
Her death was one of the biggest turning points for me. Never really realizing what all she meant to me until she was gone. I remember her now, always. She was a mother. She was a healer. As a child I remember many people bringing their children to her for healing. She knew her herbs and her healing foods. Most of all, she loved children.
There were those “sobadas”. Spanish term for massages. None of us grandchildren could complain of stomach aches without getting them. She would always have the same diagnosis “estas empachada” she would say. I wouldn’t even know how to translate that. Something along the line of having something stuck in your digestive track. Apparently, you could get it from anything. From eating unripened fruit to swallowing gum.
The term massage puts it lightly because it wasn’t soothing or relaxing at all. It was a very deep massage. It sort of felt closer to child abuse. Sobadas hurt! She would “massage” our stomach, then turn us on our stomach and pull the skin on our back until you could hear it pop, after that came 2 spoonfuls of olive oil. It was all as equally fun. But after the pain came relief. This was one of her detox and cleansing rituals. She knew their importance specially in children. I wish she would be here to do it to my children now.
Every morning and every night she would pray. Go into a meditative state doing so. She would wake up early and get her chores done. Then, spent most of her time in the kitchen. In the evening, she would go outside find a nice shaded area and enjoy some fruit off her garden watching our California sunset. Of course, she watched novelas before prayer.
Sundays, church was a must. She would always give each one of us a $1 and a tissue. I wondered for a long time why she chose these 2 items. The $1 was obviously for donation but it was the tissue I wondered about. Until, I began to pay attention to her at church. She always cried during mass. That is just the kind of woman she was. She was devout.
I learned so much from her! Taught me to take my time doing things. She taught me always to use the freshest ingredients on my food. Taught me to enjoy a sunset and a beautiful song… She taught me to value family.
Before her death I never saw myself as a mother. I didn’t care for children. Didn’t really like them.
But when I found myself at her funeral looking around at all that love, the desire to be more like her grew.
She loved her children and grandchildren. She was so nurturing!
I know now my passion for healing stems from her healing hands and her healing energy.
God, we miss her.
Yet, she lives on through us.
Thank you Grandmother! For everything! My children still reap benefit from your wisdom.
I am curious.
Who do you pay tribute to?
How do you do it?