Angelita was thrilled to finally be returning to her husband, daughter and granddaughter and many relatives and friends back home in the Sonoran sierras.
Sadly she never made it.
My cousin Maria de los Angeles or Angelita as we called her passed away yesterday.
She had survived a brain aneurysm and was doing magnificently.
"Time is too slow for those who wait,
Too swift for those who fear,
Too long for those who grieve,
Too short for those who rejoice,
But for those who love, time is eternity.
Hours fly, flowers die,
New days, new ways pass by,
Love stays." - Henry Van Dyke
Angelita was a devote Catholic and loved God and reading the bible.
I was looking for the appropriate verse to add and read Corinthians Chapter 1 13:1 through 13:8 that says,
"If I make use of the speech of men and of angels, and have not love, I am like sounding brass, or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have a great power, and have knowledge of all secret things; and if I have all belief, by which mountains may be moved from their place, but have not love, I am nothing.
And if I give all my goods to the poor, and if I give my body to be sacrificed, but have not love, it is of no benefit to me.
Love is never tired of waiting; love is kind; love has no envy; love has no high opinion of itself, love has no pride;
Loves’ ways are ever fair, it takes no thought for it’s self; it is not quickly made angry, it takes no account of malice;
It takes no pleasure in unkindness, but has joy in what is sincere;
Love has the power of understanding all things, to have trust in all things, in hoping all things.
Though the seer’s word may come to an end or our speech fail,
And wisdom have no more value, Love has no end.
Yes Love has no end."
My heart is filled with much sadness, but it is not one filled of despair, nor of loss, and mourning, but one of hope, love, and celebration.
I had the good fortune of spending time and growing up with her.
More important, Angelita was not just my cousin but someone I called my friend.
She was an amazing woman, a good wife, loving Mother, and had a love of life, great humor, filled with gentleness and kind.
Angelita lived life to the fullest, she took advantage of each and every minute to be there for others and love and nourish their bond.
Though we mourn the loss of such a beautiful person, I will forever cherish the friendship I shared with her and celebrate the time we shared growing up together.
I also believe she would want each of us to continue living our lives in the same manner she did.
She would want us to laugh again, to play "loteria" and "dominos" and to dance more.
And rather than mourn her death, I believe she would want us to celebrate her life.
Angelita was known for being a friend who was always there when anyone was down, to lend a hand when someone needed help.
Quite often to her husband's dismay, because they might not have had it to give.
She lived for her family and loved her family.
She was always there to encourage others especially Aurelia, her daughter and Salomon her son, and was always pushing them to do better and to be the best that they could be.
After all she wanted the best that life would bring for her grown children.
Yet in talking to my dear cousin just a few days ago, she reminded me that for all my concerns of this world, the violence in Mexico, the heartache of losing two family members in the past two and a half months to the violence in Cd. Juarez... that we all needed to laugh again.
To always enjoy our time with our loved ones and play "loteria" and "dominos" ( two of her favorite table games).
Probably because she had a knack for always winning.
That is why I choose to celebrate Angelita’s life and not her death.
I’m thankful that her last act of kindness to me was in reminding me sometimes we could all stand to laugh every now and then in this life.
To enjoy this miracle that is our lives, and to see the perfection of the child in all of us:
The child that knows the honesty of love, the kindness of a friend, and the beauty of the spirit within all of us.
And it is that Spirit that is my dear cousin and friend Angelita leaves us, that for as long as we each remember her, she will never be gone from us, never pass away, and never fade.
But, will continue to live in our hearts and minds.
For it's the joyous memories she leaves with us; not the saddness that we are feeling.
Even though our sight may be blurred by our tears of sadness in Angelita’s passing, she leaves us with her loving, living memory in the spirit of everyone she touched.
To Santos, Aurelia and Salomon; I mourn with you in your time of loss and hope that your grief will in time be replaced in time by the precious and happier memories you have of her.
For of my dear Angelita, I can only say, you will continue to live on in my heart and spirit, for you taught me the kindness and love of a friend, and forever touched my life by showing me how to see through the eyes of my heart.
"Though I do mourn for you my friend
And though I may cry,
And though you are leaving me
I do not say goodbye.
For goodbyes mean forever
Yet here you still remain.
Because, forever you will live
Here in my memories,
And forever in my heart
You will remain." - Thomas Barnes
Angelita, I love you and will miss you.