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Today is my grandmother’s birthday. She was born on 2/14/1914. Her name was Carmen.
Here she is at 16. Most definitely, Carmen, is a beautiful young woman.
About this same time, she immigrated from Mexico to the United Sates.
She had a brilliant mind.
This is a photo of her mother, my Great Grandmother, Felipa. A strong, determined lovely woman in her own right.
And here is my grandmother again…this time with my grandfather, Joseph, a hard-working, loving, faithful husband.
Today on the day of my grandmother’s birth, I celebrate her life and the amazing legacy she left to my family. She was dedicated to her faith, her family and her profession as an educator.
She attended the University of California at Los Angeles, UCLA, at a time where most women of her day were denied the opportunity. She was fascinated with the study of languages and spoke English, Spanish, French, German and Italian. She graduated Summa Cum Laude and became a high school foreign language instructor and adjunct community college professor. She was 100% convinced that through the power of education, people could rise above poverty and achieve their dreams. I still believe that to be true.
I am the oldest grandchild and with that came a few perks!
The photo above is of me with my grandfather on my first traveling experience. We went on a week-end trip to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. I was 10 years old and I loved it! I love the camera, hanging off my neck. I had forgotten until today, how much I enjoyed taking photographs. It’s a hobby that I’m rediscovering, with great joy!
This new-found hobby and the desire to capture life photographically, took me to my grandparent’s resting place this past Sunday.
This is where they were laid to rest. Beside three trees.
And this beautiful Angel.
The place is filled with great history and beauty.
It was a peaceful time on a lovely afternoon. I’m glad I took the time to visit.
I miss my grandmother. But I cherish her memory daily.
I’m grateful to her for her steadfast commitment to living a life filled with seeking her passion.
Oh…did I tell you that she had a brilliant mind?
My grandmother passed away in 1992, just 4 days after visiting with my youngest son, Aaron and I. Aaron was just 1-year-old at the time. That visit took place at John Douglas French Center for Alzheimer’s Disease. Yes, my grandmother with the brilliant mind, extensively well read, lover of God and books and foreign films, global traveler, patron of the arts, opera, concerts and musicals, singer and piano player…by a stroke of fate…lost her brilliant mind.
This could be a story with a sad ending, but my friends, it’s not. It’s only the beginning of a story yet to be told…
My Grandmother, though lost to Alzheimer’s in her last years of life, planted the seeds of faith, hope and dreams in my life. She stood up for her family in times of adversity. She taught me to be strong, even though sometimes I didn’t want to be. She held firm to the belief that, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
And that the key to opening that door to the future was education.
And for that, I will be forever grateful.