Today was the burial of my Tia Ramona. I actually called her Tia (sometimes Auntie) to differentiate from my dad's sisters, since I call them all Aunt. The service is said to have been very lovely. My cousin Amada sang Sarah McLaughachachlin's Angel
, her nieces did bible readings and most people said a few words. A small part of me wishes I could have been there to see the family again, to maybe say a few words about the time my mom and I saw her at Sears or Penney's looking at curtains.
She spoke very very little English, so I clumsily translated the best I could for the sales associate. When she heard the price she exclaimed, "Oh shit!" She knew the dirty words in English. Good for her! :)
Or the time she was digging into her tamales and making my dad ask his sister-in-law all kinds of very personal questions about her relationship with her boyfriend at the time. Very embarrassing for both my father and aunt, but not Tia. She just continued asking questions in rapidfire Spanish while the rest of us waited for a translation. I was probably ten at the time and I remember finding it quite amusing and I was also grateful that I wasn't the one being asked all the questions.
She walked EVERYWHERE, unless it was too hot or too cold, then she took the bus. The woman walked all over town. It wasn't unusual to be driving along Belvedere or Southern (pretty major roads in WPB) and see her walking along. If you offered her a ride, she would wave you off and go on her merry way. She loved walking. She loved beer. She loved men. She loved the occasional cigar. She was quite a woman.
Tia, we'll miss you. I know I hadn't spoken to you in almost five years, but you will remain in my thoughts always. I'll use you as the example of strength when I need it the most, because Tia, you had a rough life, almost 100 years (12/3 is her birthday, six days before turning 100 is when she passed away), but it was a good life full of triumph and tribulation, and of course: tamales.