Project Dissertation

I moved to this fabulous city three years ago mainly to; be near an airport for travel, be able to not trade my stilletos for trainers, and to finish my doctoral studies in four years. Yes, that pretty much sums up my priorities at 30. So now I am ABD with nine months to go and San Francisco is no easy city to ignore. Although, I would argue that each experience that deters my academic writing is really just needed inspiration. Welcome and I hope you enjoy...

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Bilingual, Bicultural, and Dual Citizen. J School B.A., M.A. in High Incidence Disabilities, & ABD in Education.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

One-hundred and Two


My Bisabuelita Esperanza Carillo de Villareal lived to be 102. She told the family she was five years younger when she arrived to live with her daughter in Baja, California after moving from Merida years before. She had two sons Mario and Edelmiro, at 25 she had my Grandmother Julia.

My mom called before entering Mexico to tell me she would be heading straight to the mercado to see Rosie about the flower arrangements. One from each; the Salazar, Velasco Martinez, Zermeno and from her last surviving child Julia a floral casket cover. My Dad would be busy signing over the papers for the burial plot, his Grandmother was to be buried alongside her Grandson Jorge.

I would not hear from them until today, about how the rosary, velorio, misa, burial and comida went flawlessly.

My Dad told me about the changes in velorios, growing up the wake was an all night event. Today, they only go til 12am. That gave them time to rest and in the morning run around the Buena Vista with my Great Aunts Concepcion y Esperanza that would be hosting the after burial feast.

My Dad said, it was all very nice. He and his five brothers all present and greatful to the woman that had given birth to their mother Julia.

My Mother, was accompanied by her Mother and Great Aunt as well as her Sister Maria. After the mass and the burial they headed to my Mothers Great Aunts home in the Buena Vista for Chicharrones, Bistec Picado, rice, beans, salsa, tacos de panela, even though I am a vegetarian, as my dad went on to describe the feast lovingly prepared I got a little hungry. If I closed my eyes, I could imagine the scents wafting from the kitchen door into the dining room. The scents that first woke me as a child as my Bisabuelita Lolita prepared the morning meals.

To me there is nothing morbid about death: I was taught how to mourn. My parents never kept me from wakes, open caskets, burials, or the celebration of life that follows. I couldn't be physically there with them, but I was there in spirit.

In San Francisco my good friend Rebekka stopped by my office, looked into mass times, met me for soup, that I was craving. Monica called to tell me she was reachable to see how I was doing, she had kept me company the previous two nights.

I didn't listen to music the whole day, took a nap, went along my day quietly. After dinner, I realized in Mexico they would be celebrating her life now. So, we went for a drink.

We made our way to the Mission to Delerium to meet with Adam, Tia, Ammie, Vinnay, and then someone coordinated a toast, to my Great Grandmother to a life well lived. I sipped my tequila knowing all the way down in Mexico, mi familia would be doing the same...

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