Comida Mexicana, Family Memories, Mireles Family History, Mi Mama Mireles, Food Anthropology,
I Remember Your Laugh
June 3, 2019
Mi Mama was a blend of Lola Beltran (classy, dignified and strong).
Had the perfect timing, humor, abilities of Lucille Ball (humorous & hilarious).
And the hypnotic story-telling charm of Walt Disney. It was through her story-telling that she helped and kept her children spell-bound and opened our minds to all of the possibilities that life has to offer.
With the heart of Mother Teresa, Mi Mama would love on you and feed you to death.
And, kin to Paquita La Del Barrio (feisty, don’t take no b.s.). Paquita sings of the large-scale indignities of being a woman in a macho society.
Quite the blend. No, she was not a singer (although she had a beautiful voice) and always sang to us. She was not an actress, nor a famous figure. But, a woman way ahead of her time and who’s passion were her children, she was famous to me.
She had to drop-out of school, in order to help her family financially. Her highest level of schooling was 7th grade But, Mi Mama had more common sense abilities in her pinkie than 5 people, than 10 people! Since common sense is derived from life experiences rather than study. Later on in life this common sense transformed into wisdom and she was sought after for conversation and advise. She had a kind face and heart and was very approachable, especially to women who identified with her about their similar life experiences. Although at times she may have projected a hard exterior we knew she wasn’t. How do you become a Mama at 16 years old and be expected to know what you are doing? And to boot, my father was no support, whatsoever. In fact he was abusive; mentally and physically. She endured much pain with him and future relationships. (I learned we will always have problems with men, if we are not healthy ourselves). He was a very troubled soul. Until she found her own value and saw the light. In spite of this ugliness in her life she was genuinely a happy woman. I later learned she suffered from depression, but I wish to remember the good times of her life and not dwell on her illnesses, the negative or her passing! She was very good at math also and memorizing numbers. I think she had every telephone number in Huron (population 1,200) memorized pre I-phone days. Even though she lived in a culture that had very defined expectations and roles for her and all women. She wanted her daughters to flourish and not live under those restrictions and limitations imposed by the Mexican culture. She wanted us to break-out! It was of utmost importance, that we not repeat her life! She wanted us to have a voice, to be equals in a relationship, to receive an education, to make our own money and not be dependent on a man. Because of my mom, I know I can fly. She was the first person I went to cry to and the first person who heard my good news. All mother daugther relationships are strained at times, and we had a few of those conflicts. But, more often than not our alone times were very pleasurable and filled with laughter! Besides our shopping trips, I would take her for rides in the country and alleys and buy her a soft serve at Dairy Queen. It was the simplest of memorable times with Mi Mama, giggling like young girls. As her first born I always felt like we grew up together. I could talk to Mi Mama as if she was a girlfriend. But, I always viewed and respected her as Mi Mama, we had a special relationship, as her firstborn. Her love, encouragement, and strength have carried me through so much since the day I entered this world. She taught us to respect people and about our Lord. Growing up in the San Joaquin Valley (the fruit and vegetable basket of the country) I also learned to respect the land and it will always provide for you. I would hear; if it’s worth doing, do it right. She taught us if you fall to shake it off and get up and carry on.
In retrospect, you could say Mi Mama was judgmental. But, not to justify her actions, but perhaps it’s an issue of semantics and we need more of what I would call setting guidelines and parameters in our families, and not call it being judgemental. And, just maybe our society wouldn’t be in such a mess and upside down. I recently saw a very young girl in my extended family with a very grown up dress that did not seem appropriate to me. You may ask, “why wasn’t it appropriate?” It wasn’t appropriate because it did not fit the occasion. She should of wore a cheerful Spring dress. Of course, I would not say anything since she is not my child. But…………I do wonder about why her own mother allowed her to pick such a sexy dress for her age that did not seem appropriate for the event. Obviously, they felt it was. Mi Mama always spoke and directed us in not wanting to grow up too fast. Mi Mama never held back if she saw something that she felt was inappropriate and she would let you know. For example, she always wanted us to dress age appropriate and classy. She would not pick my clothes, but instead guided me, in picking a dress for a specific event. And, I always agreed since she had impeccable taste. She was also strict with us about use of make-up and dating. She wanted us to be respectful young ladies. We were her life and she took so much pride in us. She never ceased to amaze me and all her children. I recall much later in her life she took early education classes and told the children the most creative nursery rhymes she made up. She also took cake decorating classes. She made homemade cakes for all her grand-children and great-grand children, that were decorated beautifully.
And I………feel blessed to have the Lord guide my pencil and for giving me a Mama like Helen. Mi Mama is my favorite writing material and she left plenty to write about. I will never stop honoring her.Yes, she made mistakes, but she did so much right as a single Mama, in raising us. My sisters and I recognize many children raised with two parents, who did not come out as together and productive as we did, but of course this is unmeasurable, but something we feel and agree in our hearts. I know it is by the grace of Our Lord.
I am perpetually creative, and my eyes “feel” art everywhere.
Who am I, I am an open book. I believe that sharing “from the heart” with one another is what connects us, heals us, and inspires us!
My love for my Lord, family, friends, cooking, crafting, gardening/nature, vintage, sewing and different cultures; these passions and too many more to list, have moved my hand to paper, thus, Abrazos y Besos.
In addition to a nudge by my baby sister, Dudies.
My last name is Hug which means Abrazo in Spanish, hence the name of my blog: “Abrazos y Besos” translating to “Hugs & Kisses.”
I will focus on our personal life journey with Mi Corazon (Augie Hug) sprinkled with love, spice and fun. Please tune in.
Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
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