An eulogy 29 years in the making

How do I even start.

Her story ended 29 years ago.

After 29 years, rage still runs rampant in mine.

My mother lived a short, painful life. Being the daughter of a young unmarried woman, she carried the bastard stigma all her life. Her mother, my grandmother did end up marrying a different guy and having four more children which my mother raised while her mother was out washing clothes and cooking for rich women. Even though she called her stepfather dad, he never gave her his name. She had to live with the shame of having her mother’s name only. Of not having the same name as her siblings. It was still a terrible thing when I was growing up. I saw how children my age that only had their mother’s name were treated. I can only imagine it was even worse when she was growing up.

She was denied a name, an education, a future.  She had scars all over her body from the corporal punishment she received from her own mother and from her school teachers the few years she was allowed to attend. Once her half-siblings were born, she was taken out of school to be their nanny.  Once those half-siblings were old enough to go to school, she had to take a job to help support the family. Continue reading

The most beautiful person I have known

I stumbled upon this quote today. Some of you may have heard it before. It was the first time for me and it hit home so hard, I wanna share it with you:

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Then, I wanted to add a picture but that wasn’t an easy task. A search for “beauty” and “beautiful” didn’t precisely show what I wanted. Then, it occurred to me that Colombian women know a lot about defeat and suffering. About struggle and loss. And yet they are compassionate, gentle and deep loving. So I googled “Colombian women” and in spite of almost getting lost in the sea of pictures of Sofia Vergara, I found this one.

Colombian Women Against Violence

                                                Beautiful Colombian women

The resemblance between the woman on the left and my mother is uncanny. Even as I type this words, I am so deeply moved by it that I feel both like laughing and crying at the same time. My mother definitely knew about all those things. She was the sweetest, most gentle person I’ve ever known. If only I could tell you about the sacrifices she made, about the way she touched the lives of those around her regardless how how hard her life was…. And she hard an incredibly hard life, from the minute she was born. A life that was lost to domestic violence at 34 years old. Something Colombian women know very well too.

Yes, my mother is the most beautiful person I have known.