You left us four years ago Mama, everyone affectionately knew you as “La Bebita.”
Today and every day I shout out recognition and thanks to you Mama for being a woman extraordinaire, a woman way ahead of your times. For raising 6 strong children on her own. I know our grandparents helped you, also. Thank you Mama, you worked so hard to instill in your children to be strong, independent, productive human beings, to be disciplined, to take pride in what we did, be hard-working and yet almost contradictory; to be free-thinking with wild little spirits, to always be hungry for knowledge; to continue learning and growing.
I know you never slept in, had breakfast in bed or had a spa day. I wish you had Mama.
You were the best story teller and kept us enchanted with your stories, your sense of humor was crazy good! Actually, you use to crack me up. And, that smile mixed with that “traviesa” look of yours, that use to melt me with joy.
A child yourself. You always said you grew up with your children. You use to play jacks with us. I know that’s not the way it’s suppose to be, but it was what it was. You were 16, I was your first-born.
We enjoyed our time together, I use to take you on rides. And within ten minutes you were asleep. I would buy you a frosty freeze ice cream cone. And we were content. Your children were the most important thing to you, you were so proud of all of us. And you loved so deeply.
And like many women you did it alone. You were a single Mama. I know it was hard and overwhelming at times. I can’t even imagine how you did it. But you did, Mama. You carried yourself with class; teaching us, we can be poor but, be clean. Cleanliness, order and hygiene were very big with our Mama, to the point of obsession. She washed the whitest whites.
No pulling the wool over your eyes, you were so darn sharp. You were tough on all of us (with the exception of Dudies, Lol) and constantly were pushing us to do better, you expected much from us. And I’m glad you did!
You wanted a better life for all of your children. Different from your very tough life, of working in the fields picking the crops. I recall you telling me, you had given birth to Mike, your fourth child and ten days later you were dragging a 200 lb. sack of cotton with Dad.
When Dad would return to Mexico, I would cry and cry. And, then I just stopped crying, thankful he hadn’t returned. I think we all recognized we did better without him.
No one cooked like you, Helen. Your chile colorado, fresh hand made tortillas, tamales, nopales, chile rellanos, frijoles y chiles were out of this world filled with flavor and love. You took so much pride in your food, as many will attest to.
Your children were the most important and you were so proud of us.
You had always radiated to me, but there was a definite change, once you found our Lord. And what a transformation, Mama. Toward the end it was difficult on all of us and I knew you were afraid, but you clung to our Lord. And, because of Dudies, Manuela and you Mama I can now say I know the Lord now too. And what a joy it is to know him and follow Him.
Your life journey is now over. You are now celebrating your long and well deserved eternal rest in heaven.