These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Friday, August 07, 2009

"the boss is gone"

i'm sitting here at my linda's house on my last night back in texas. it was a bitersweet visit back. we buried an aunt today.

Tia Mine died Tuesday morning at 9 in corpus christi. she was 80. even though she'd suffered a stroke more than amonth ago, she ended up dying from bacteria that crept into her brain and caused it to swell. she went from doing Ok on last friday to not moving or able to see. it's funny how things change so quickly.

i flew down from GR to dallas and downt o corpus wednesday morning. it was my first solo flight. i did fine. i guess because coming down was not an option. i could not miss this. Mine meant the world ot me and to a lot of people in the family. she was a one of a kind woman.

we had the rosary last night (same place as dad's rosary). it was weird being there again. same place, same reason. same sadness. today we buried her at the same cemetery, just a few plots away from pop's grave. i served as a pallbearer, along with Nole, Arnold, Joe, Louie and Russell. it was an honor to do it. it's funny because Mine had put me down as an honorary pallbearer, thinking i wouldn't be able to make it. in fact her words to linda were, "i know mijo won't be able to come." how could i miss this? there was no way. she was always there for me. this was the least i could do for her.

Mine was such a kind woman. she was the epitome of generous. ever since i can remember, she was there for us. she'd give us a ride home from san diego. but before we got home, she's stop at dairy queen or nu way to get an ice cream or chicken strips, a coke or whatever. she'd go to alice and come back with a shirt or pair of pants or shoes. there were the birthday presents, the christmas presents. everything. and she did it out of her heart. she never expected anything in return. i think she was most happy giving. and seeing others happy made her happy. and i'm going to miss that.

i took a walk through her house the other day. i saw food in the fridge she was never going to eat. a bed she was never going to sleep in again. chairs she'd never sit on to watch tv. clothes she'd never wear. it was so sad. with dad, when he died, the house was still occupied by mom and there's visitors coming and going. but Mine's house is empty and will remain empty.

it's the end of an era. that house was occupied by my grandparents since the late 1920s and thenb y their children, as they moved out, Mine was the last one left there since she was unmarried. no children. then Pempo died in 1976. Memo died in 1980. and that left Mine alone in the house. until now. i will take one last walk through tomorrow and touch a few things, take in the smell of the house and take a few pics.

and so here i am friday night after burying my aunt. my dad's side of the family has deminished from seven brothers and sisters to three. i don't want to hear of anymore dying. not for years. it's too much death in too little time.

i will spent the final few hours of the trip tomorrow visiting with my mom, bro, sis and the kids. i sat outside on the swing at mom's house for about an hour this evening, talking and feeling the wind coming across the dry field. it felt good.

Mine, i will miss you so much. i love you. and i take solace that you have three brothers who got where you are and welcomed you. united in death. xxoo


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