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Imagenes Guardadas en el Corazon

Those beautiful images that make your heart yearn

By DHOC
Published on LatinoLA: September 23, 2004


Imagenes Guardadas en el Corazon


I keep wondering why my heart wants to remain in yesteryear..... Maybe its because my whole family once lived in the same city and I miss them dearly now that they live throughout the states and abroad and mis abuelitos now gone to heaven..... their memory still freshly engraved in my heart.....

Que bonitos nuestros tiempos.

As this story begins:

The tables turned to a calm evening at home enjoying the company of my sisters from out of town and you know how much time is spent when sisters get together after not seeing and spending time with each other for long periods? Let's just say all evening and well into the wee hours of the morning..............

My sisters and I did just that. Reminiscing on the GOLDEN DAYS, listening to Sunny Ozuna, Latin Breed, Little Joe, Agustin Ramirez, and some of the best Motown old school.....laughing and carrying on and even remembering and getting teary eyed when Conjunto Bernal (on vinyl) was playing on my turntable. Taking us back to a time when we lost mi tio Tino.....an uncle we so dearly adored, then bringing a smile to each of our faces when remembering the fond memories we shared with himY.

Finally collapsing at about 3:30am.......

The next morning we got up, showered, and rushed to mom's house for pan dulce, cafe, Aqui Rogelio, and Enfoque Musical couldn't have finished it off any better, or could we......

Jumping into my car, my sisters and I took a little tour around our little hometown to help them remember some parts we were discussing the night before. The street donde vivian Los Maldonado, the street that takes you to La Favorita bakery (that is still open for business), our church, and Vera's Palladium where the best of the best Chicano bands performed on Fridays and Saturdays including Agustin Ramirez and Joe Bravo - right about the same time La Villita in San Benito was in full force.

Finally, that side road taking us to GRANDMA FELA'S HOUSE (Que en paz descanse mi huelita).

The little street so hypnotizing, something prompting me to drive slower and then just slowly come to a halt right before the buson (mailbox).............. I opened my window and smelled her pretty flowers, made it even stronger to think about stopping.

My Tio Lupe's car (who now lives alone at my grandma's) was parked under the carport. The carport where I remember having all those wonderful pachangas with the cousins. We debated about barging in without a phone call but decided to take a chance anyway. What was in store? One can only imagine.....

My uncle opened the side door to the house to see who had driven up and delightfully blurted, "Oh my goodness, what a wonderful surprise!" and asked us to come in - which we did, but not before looking around the yard, to absorb all the wonderful memories of yesteryear.

Grandma Felicitas loved her flowers and all were exactly where she had left them years ago. Some still in those old antique like coffee cans, some in wooden homemade boxes, even her little shovel and gloves still hung by the homemade storage shed....

Walking inside the house was incredible, our minds immediately absconding to some of life's most precious moments.... I could still see the image of mi abuelita in her delantar (aprons she crocheted herself) walking about the kitchen, always cutting lemons for an agua limonada.

Prompting us to have a seat, mi tio told us that he had done some remodeling...... My grandma's room had been turned into a music room, where a huge piano now laid at the center of the room. I was a bit saddened but avidly listened to his explanation:

He told us it took him at least a year or more to clear out her room and put her things away, which he still can't part with and has stored. Then little by little painfully clearing the entire room. He even told us he had to take a vacation (away from home) when the carpenters came in to take down the wall and bedroom door. He couldn't bear to part with even the slightest material and couldn't bear to be around to see it be taken away.

Finally convincing himself that the house was still filled with her presence, he found it therapeutic to change the room. For walking by her bedroom year after year would've continued to torture him and would not have allowed him to heal.....

We sat and enjoyed the wonderful conversation....... looking at pictures and smiling brightly album after album (sure made my cheeks hurt)..... It warmed my heart when mi tio handed me what appeared to be a wallet type thing and said that it held my huelito's love letters to my grandma....

Time basically stood still at that moment........

Mi tio said he read them and never knew my grandfather had such wonderful ability to write and express himself on paper. I froze at the statement, I couldn't help but wonder if I had somehow received my gift of writing from him........

Each of us slowly walked about the room, then looked out the window...... I could've sworn I almost saw Grandma Fela tending to her plants in her big old fashion hat and long sleeve shirt. A beautiful image greatly imbedded in my mind.....I silently gazed.........

Then turning away, noticing the clock on top of the TV, sadly it was getting late and my sisters had to drive back home, so we decided to say good-bye. However, not before asking if there was something my uncle could part with for us to cherish and pass on to our children.....

My uncle blankly staring as if thinking really hard, looking about with a sad face - I'm sure he couldn't part with anything and it made me even feel guilty to have asked, as I watched him get teary eyed. He said, "Well, I could be selfish........ but I'm not...." clearing his throat. "I know how much Grandma meant to all of you and how much you meant to her so let me see......."

He walked out of the room and looked and looked and finally brought over a large bag and said "Now this stuff is the last bag of the stuff that was to be distributed to immediate family..." He then said, "Actually, it was meant for your Tia Socorro but she's been away so long"..... he nervously laughed and said, "Besides, I've been holding it for years"

Excitedly, I took the bag and looked inside. I felt a huge lump in my throat... I gently moved the pieces of fabric and noticed it was some of grandma's clothes..... the ones I so dearly remember her wearing. A smock type blouse with the pretty little pockets in the front, a pretty little Bata with a pretty soft pink flower pattern. Even after so long, they still smelled like her pretty powder..... I hated to have to think I was only granted one thing..... but I continued to look.

Finally smitten by a dress way down at the bottom....... I noticed a beautiful pink evening gown my grandma had sewn..... it was absolutely breathtaking. I instantly fell in love and knew I just had to have it...

My sister Sylvia next looked into the bag and picked the nice soft type pink Bata and my other sister Linda picked a pretty squared pillow. I remember walking into grandma's house when I was young and the first image that popped into my mind as I walked in was those pretty pillows. My abuelita used to sew and crochet everything including the slip covers for the sofas - you know those that have several pieces of multi colored squared fabric with the old patterns, almost quilt like........

At that point we were all happy and ready to go....

Stepping out of the house we spoke about the big swing my grandpa made by the big tree by the driveway (the driveway still made out of rocks, not caliche, just little brown rocks) the different colored brick walkway my huelito made for my huelita, and grandpa's gallineros - the ones we had to clean when we visited...... Huelito always made sure we worked hard and had something to do since there were so many of us .. his words, "Agarra esa pala y ayuda me limpiar los gallineros.. andale!"

Taking one last walk around the house - the yard appeared small yet, I remember it being so huge......

We said goodbye and headed out of the driveway. I was in a daze..... It was as though I had walked into a time machine and I had forgotten what year it was...... I focused on the memory and the experience kept me on a natural high the entire afternoon...............

Que bonitos nuestros tiempos cuando ibamos a visitar a nuestros abuelitos.. Que daria si todavia los tendria. Que en paz descansen. I will treasure them forever.....


Sometime in 2003, I wrote this piece and decided to share it with you. My sisters were in town and I was suppose to attend a concert where David Lee Garza and Los Frijoles Romanticos were going to perform. As much as I love my music and outings with friends. Time spent with family is always a treasure to be rediscovered.

I had been searching for this story for an eternity, then one day a beautiful friend (Dora AFlor@ Arteaga - Dallas, Texas) resurfaced it and e-mailed it to my heart.. Thank you Dora, I will never be able to repay you.

Also a special thank you to Abel Hernandez also known as El Webjefe for giving me my first beginnings a few years ago, when he allowed me the opportunity to display my writing to the public. Prior to that, I had kept my writing privately (as a hobby - off line) for approximately 8 years (plus or minus).

....a huge thank you to latinola.com for publishing my work, Frankie Firme for his encouraging words, and ChicanoExpress for the beautifully inspiring music.......

and last but definitely not least.... my husband Mario Gonzalez for putting up with me for jumping out of bed in the wee hours because my mind wants me to head straight to the computer to type those sudden sparks of thoughts...... I love you baby!

About DHOC:
MaryAnn "Mariana" Gonzalez (DHOC, Die Hard Onda Chicana) passionate writer, involved in promoting Tejano music, our culture, our raza, our accomplishments, and passions (maryanngonzalez@lycos.com)




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