Remembering loved ones…

November 1, 2010

Tomorrow is the Day of the Dead, and we put together a little altar to remember our loved ones who have passed on.  Pictured are my parents, who died way too young.  My mother was only 41 and my father 56.  Paul’s parents are pictured, too – they lived longer – into their 70’s.  There is also a picture of “Papa when he was a girl” – my maternal grandfather, born in 1898, wearing a dress in the days where boys graduated into short pants. My father’s parents are pictured, too… oh, I miss them all.

One frame is empty, and signifies a sadness that I have this year with people who have withdrawn themselves from our lives.  It is a very sad situation, one that has left me feeling bereaved.

Of course there is some tequila and beer and a candle.  It should have a whole bunch of marigolds and a package of cigarettes, but our altar isn’t perfect, just like us.

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I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. Yikes. The empty frame is the only sad part of your altar – the rest is just life and death. Arms around you and Paul.

    1. Nice work. Your parents did indeed die too young. My wife´s mother died at 31. Regarding the people who have “withdrawn themselves” from your lives, it certainly makes one wonder. Either I have not been paying sufficient attention to The Countdown, silly me, or some interesting issues have not seen the proverbial light of day. Likely the former.

    1. For years, you have been my move-to-Mexico mentor. Whatever the hole represents, I do not need details. But I wish you comfort that fills all holes.

      1. Cynthia, Thanks for your kind words, things will probably work themselves out eventually.

        Felipe, No, I have considered whether to blog on the issue but can’t really figure out how to. Or if I want to. But the altar and blog post were written with them in mind, since it will probably be read by them and might be an opening for healing. Sounds kind of mumbo jumbo but oh well.

        Steve, Thanks, I appreciate your kind words.

    1. I think the empty frame is very evocative and a perfect symbol. I hope that it changes things and brings some resolution.

      It’s a beautiful altar, nothing in this world is perfect and anyway, perfect would no doubt be quite boring. I know I have to try hard to avoid it 🙂


    1. Beautiful alter and I hope it brings you comfort and good memories (all except the empty one). I know how that empty frame makes you feel, as I have had my own empty frame myself. Just remember that you have probably done everything you can to fill that frame, and that’s what matters. That person is the one that is missing wonderful people in their lives. Continue to live your life to the fullest and pray for your empty frame.

      1. Jonna, Thank you, I am hopeful resolution comes, too. The only ones who can really hurt you are the ones you love, unfortunately. Thanks for being imperfect, too – although I think you come pretty close.

        Cheryl, Thanks for your kind words, it is nice to know I’m not alone, that others have drama and sadness (hopefully temporarily) as a part of their lives. Thanks so much.

    1. I am a recent newcomer to your blog but love it. Your ofrenda is really beautiful. I have made one every year since 2004 when I spent the season in Oaxaca. This year my mother’s photo was added.

      Your empty frame intrigues me as I have significant people who have withdrawn also. Is this a Mexican tradition to put out an empty frame in the ofrenda, or your own inspiration?

      You speak very true words, that only the ones you love can hurt you. That’s why it hurts so much. Thank you for blogging.

      1. Joan, Thank you so much for commenting – and of course also reading our blog. To me, the Mexican holiday “Day of the Dead” and the US holiday “Thanksgiving” are my two favorite holidays, probably because they give us the nudge to think about those who are or have been important to us… the empty frame was my idea, or at least if it is a tradition I hadn’t heard of it! (There are so few truly unique ideas) Thanks again for your comment.

    1. A great post or memories.

      About the empty frame – sadly it seems people come and go in one’s lives. To have a few to call friends is one of the rich rewards in life. To lose any certainly hurts. Healing comes so very hard, if at all. Life is Good – we can stand on that.

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