Year three for Dia de Los Muertos is another year to remember the lives of our honorable passed.
The following piece was originally written three years ago. Now joining in the losses in this below piece (originally posted privately) are the following relatives: my sister Jessica (2016) and my cousin Tony Cordova (2017). Last year I posted a tribute publicly about my grandmother and sister in a different piece you can read here. This year I thought I should share this memory passed explaining why this holiday (and Halloween before it) are particularly dear to me. I hope that you can enjoy honoring the lives in the stories here. Happy Dia de Los Muertos.
Today is the second Day of the Dead since she passed. It is the day after her favorite holiday and her great-grandsons birthday*.
A post about Jonas' birthday will be linked here later.
Holidays were a big ordeal to her. They were about exchanging stories. They were about decorating the house. Of cooking big feasts. Of reading stories. Of watching about spooky monsters both real and fictional.
Halloween was particularly special. She loved it more than any other holiday. Her house was decorated so much then. She had hoards of candy every year and special treats. She encouraged dressing up all year round so it was an added bonus to see the rest of the normals joining in for a day.
Growing up I can remember so many days watching morbid shows. The Munsters, the Adams Family, the X Files and Unsolved Mysteries were big at her house. Later years would bring comic books and Tales from the Crypt. Gram loved ridiculous cheesy cult movies like Creepshow, The Thing, Dracula, Night of the Living Dead, the Creature from the Black Lagoon....
My dad even seemed to get it too. I think that's part of how he held it together a bit while married and divorced to my mother. He continued the tradition bringing me to a spooky themed mini golf course year-round that had red blood water traps and laughing skulls. Dad would also find great joy decorating the house and watching these movies. Even this year my dad was found perched on his step dressed up and scaring kids as they went to collect candy.
Grandma embraced death long before her time. She cared more about the things that shaped a life. She handcrafted experiences. She was an artist in so many ways the world generally doesn't understand.
Grandma and my aunt Marie were both conventional artists as well. Many October and summer days were spent painting with them on grandma's screened in porch painting. I always looked to grandma for inspiration. Aunt Marie passed a few years prior. Perhaps they're both painting together now as the angels they told stories about too.
My grandmother enjoyed secrets. There were many that she had of her own. I'm sure there are many that she never told anyone. Not even me during her last days.
My Grandma was not afraid of her mortality. Looking back, perhaps it was because she knew that even after she passed she would airways live on. She lived in a way that encouraged that. She inspired others to do that as well.
On this day and every day, I want to invite you to join me in celebrating the greatest human being I have had the pleasure to share experiences and DNA with. This woman I'd so much of the reason I am the way I am.
I love you Anita Giannerini and Marie O'Rear. I miss you and will never forget you. Hopefully the rest of those that you encountered feel the same. Hopefully, those that I encounter remember too.
Happy Dia De Los Muertos everyone.