My Grandmother is Dying

I just read this post that Frank Somerville from our local News station wrote. It was about the hard work he had done in the yard, and how back breaking and sobering it was, especially knowing that there are men and women that do this for a living, day in and day out.

His story reminded me of my grandmother and our families story. You see it is quite sobering for me. I am sitting in Texas where my grandparents meet, what seems like lifetimes ago, working in the fields and then left for California to chase a bigger dream.
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The more sobering part is that my grandmother, Juanita, is dying. She is slowly falling apart both her body and her mind… tonight or tomorrow just might be her last.
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When I was in high school I started this project to scan and collected all the family photos and documents while getting the stories behind them before they all disappeared. I wanted to do this because I knew that my grandparents (on both sides of the family) were not going to be around for ever. So I sat and I listened and absorbed and wrote everything down that I could.

My Grandma and Grandpa were both born in Texas. Each of one of their parents were born in Mexico. My great grandfather on my grandpa’s side was born in Jimenez, Coahuila, Mexico and my great grandmother on my grandfather's side was born in Del Rio Texas. My grandmas mother was born in Pedras Negras Mexico and her father may have been born in Texas or Mexico we are unsure. Your grandmother was as your grandfather we’re proud Texanos and more importantly proud citizens.

Initially, when the stories were told to me (in broken English) I understood that my grandmother was born in Mexico, but she spent a lot of time in Mexico with her aunts and went back and forth a lot.

With their Nine children, they lived in San Jose California for over sixty years, they had built their home…
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My grandmother and I don’t really get along. We haven’t for a while. Hell, I don’t get along with most of my family. Only seeing them on holidays, most I skip out on… But she is my grandmother and I love her. This week on one of the calls with my mother, she let me know that my grandmother might not make it much longer. A fact I knew was coming, but still, I was not ready for.

You see, my grandmother raised me. She raised a lot of the grandchildren in our family. She woke us up, brushed our teeth, feed us arroz con pollo, and beat us with sandal when we stepped out of line.

She may not have been perfect, but she worked her ass off to provide for all of us. She has done so much for all of us and we are here because of her.

My grandmother was a hard ass, loving, but stern. She prayed for hours a day, reading her prayer books, and fidgeting with her prayer beads. My grandmother is loved and will be missed by her family. A family that is huge, and crazy, and full of love.

So I sit here in Austin Texas thinking of you grandma. Soon, you will be in the heavens with your god who you prayed to every day, looking over your grandchildren. We will miss you, we all truly will, but your suffering will be gone.

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