Monday, October 24, 2011

How will you be remembered?


My abuelito, Antonio Alamillo Villalobos took his last breath on Friday, October 21st.  Entering the hospice is depressing.  Hopelessness walks freely down the halls. Senior citizens sit in wheel chairs staring into a nothingness. Perhaps they are plotting their escape or asking themselves how they ended up there and what time will the grim reaper claim them for his own. When I make eye contact with them and smile, they seem surprised that I would see them and not through them.

Seeing my abuelito taking shallow breaths of air through the oxygen mask, his body struggling to stay alive while his mind was on a trip of floating through clouds with the help of the morphine they gave him every few hours.  Physically he struggled, where was he mentally and emotionally?  Was he reliving his life? Was he being greeted by those who passed before him? Did he feel us all in the room.  Generations of Alamillo's sitting around him, praying that he wasn't in pain and screaming for help from within,  praying for comfort from the Universe, praying that he felt us in the room, praying forever praying.

This is not the last memory I will store in my heart. This is not how I wish to remember him.  As a child, we know our abuelitos as those who gives us the coins for the ice cream, the trips to the park and our defenders for justice against our parents.

My abuelito was the last of my grandparents to be alive.  Antonio lived to the age of 97.  I was fortunate to know all 4 of my grandparents and have special memories with each.  My children got to know their great grandfather.

One of my favorite memories was recent.  I came to visit my parents and abuelito and decided to surprise them with pan dulce.  My abuelito who was on a strict diet rarely had sweets but I asked my mom if I could give him a piece of bread. She said yes, so I put the pan on a plate and slid it across the counter in front of him.  He was looking down and saw the plate, looked up at me and had the biggest smile on his face.  He picked up the pan, laughed and then proceeded to wolf it down before anyone could take it away from him. 

Abuelito querido. Rest in peace.

What is your favorite abuelito memory?

3 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry! Wishing you hundreds and hundreds of beautiful memories!

    Marcela

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  2. Maria, I'm so sorry to hear of your abuelito's passing. You're very lucky to have wonderful memories of your grandparents. May your abuelo rest in peace.

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  3. I am so sorry to hear this...Still recovering my abuelitas passing this year...I wish you and your family paz. My favorite abuelito memory was him pretending to hit me as achild to teach me a lesson..

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