Friday, February 18, 2011

My Memories of Tina

Memories can be very painful. This morning, I finally allowed my mind to go back to memories of my recently diseased cousin Tina, or as I usually called her "Tia Tina". Her daughter Janie is just a few months younger than me and when we were growing up I called her mother, "Tia Tina". Eighteen years ago when I arrived here in Fort Worth, I arrived at her home, spend the night there and she helped me find an apartment and even helped me to return the U-Haul truck I had rented to come here. As we became close and talked to each other on a daily basis, she reminded me of the fact that she and I were really first cousins and wanted me to call her just Tina, not "Tia Tina". I spend years living on the same block and even later when I spend two years in Dallas because of a job I had, we still continued our close friendship and communication. I did a lot of sewing for her, making her clothes, such as pants, coats and even night gowns. At first she would pay me for my work, but since she had the habit of giving me things she felt I would like and that she had found in her shopping trips both to the discount stores or thrift stores, I eventually stopped charging her for any work I did for her. Even when I lived the two years in Dallas, I would visit her on some weekends or even mail her her stuff I had made for her. I did a lot of crocheting things for her, including some white doilies for her tables in the living room.
She also did a lot of crocheting and sewing for herself. She had great pride in having a beautiful home. She had good talent in home decor and her three bedroom home is a wonderful example of that. Her home always had wonderful carpets, great furniture and terrific things such as cabinets full of elegant tableware. She had a wonderful and complete tea set among many of her beautiful things. Just remembering how beautiful her home always was when I visited her, made me burst into uncontrollable tears. I haven't and I don't think I'll ever be able to visit her beautiful home after her death, because it was such a wonderful expression of the kind of great person that she was, and now her home is still there but she is gone!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Different Possibility

After reading a blog on how people with multiple personalities may sometimes have different diseases with each personality and that often the disease and the symptoms may completely disappear from the same body depending on the personality in charge of that body, I have come up with a completely different answer to the question of the problem with my mother. Maybe my mother was not the victim of witchcraft, but merely suffering from multiple personalities! If she did have different personalities, it may have been the reason that doctors never were able to get positive proof that she had epileptcy if her personality changed. This theory may also answer other problems that my mother seemed to have. Maybe all her health problems changed when her personality changed. Because the doctors never seemed to prove any of her other symptoms of other diseases, the ended up just giving her tranquilizers instead of solving her problems with healing medicine. She ended up being senile early in life and couldn't even recognize me at all. She used to be a very active person with many projects in sewing, arts and crafts and gardening. She was a very inspiring person until she changed so much and became senile.

Possible or Impossible???

There was a time in my mother's life when she had some seizures that seemed like epileptic seizures but may not have been. Doctors were unable to diagnosis what the trouble was and it eventually worked itself off and she had other problems but not the seizures.
It was a scary time for me, because I was a small child and when these seizures happened when she and I were alone, I knew the drill well---run to the back fence and scream to a neighbor across the street. She then came over to be in charge after calling the ambulance for my mother to be taken to the hospital and she would stay with me until someone else or my father came home. I must say the neighbors were very helpful to our situation, but it was still very scary to me at that age.
I still have a big question in my mind about this time. What was it that my mother actually see just before she had these seizures? I guess we will never know for sure.
My mother used to say that she would see the face of a woman coming towards her, getting closer and closer until she passed out! I remember that just before a seizure she would start praying and staring at an area in front of her and she would as for water. Sometimes the prayers and the water she drank seemed to do the trick and she would be all right after a while and sometimes she would go into a seizure, falling on the floor and biting her tongue and bleeding,
It was a hair-raising experience for me, because I could feel my mother was seeing something or someone and the worst part was that I could feel a presence, an entity and I could feel how it got closer to her. Even now more than 60 years later, I still feel my hair on the back of my neck.
Besides going to the doctors, my mother tried to get all the help she could get. I remember that one day we went to a psychic healer in Edinburg. I don't remember her name or title, but I do remember the house we went to talk to her. It was a simple wooden house in a regular hispanic neighborhood. It seemed to be a one room house and the waiting area was separated from her inner area with a curtain that was a huge American flag. It seemed to look very impressive. There were many people in the waiting area, but we eventually made itr into the inner area. I don't remember details about the woman, but I do remember most of what she said and I do remember she had what I recognized as Catholic altars all around with many images and statues.
I do not remember if ashe was reading cards, but she did have a lot to tell my mother. She told her that a woman had done some witchcraft on her because the woman wanted my father. According to the healer, the woman had gone to the cemetery and stolen some human bones and after doing her spells and things had buried them under my mother's front steps. She even told my parents that they had later built a cement area where the steps had been but the bones had stayed under the doorway into our home. She gave instructions as to how to get rid of this evil bones. My father was supposed to dig them out and she said that the bones had decomposed into some yellow matter that looked like rust, which he was supposed to remove and burn thoroughly without my mother being near.
I still remember my father, destroying the cement steps and digging out the rusty dirt and removing it from the area, but for some reason he did not burn it. A few months later, my mother was showing my father where to plant a new tree in our back yard, and accidentally back her leg into a bushel basket holding some trash and cut the back of her leg with a big broken piece of window glass. The cut was huge, about 4 inches long and just about as deep and had to go to her doctor after hours to get it sewn up. They later realized that that was the place my father had left the rusty dirt that was supposed to be bones. Who knows how much was true but i do remember it the way it happened? Was it witchcraft?? Who knows for sure?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tina's Funeral

Death is sad! Death brings sadness to everyone involved, whether by blood or just friendship. Death leaves a big empty space in our everyday lives. Death leaves a lot of pain.

Today I went to my cousin Tina's funeral and it was beautiful, but of course, very sad!! There were a lot of people at the church....the casket looked impressive in its glossy gray color! It really looked magnificent! It was a very cold morning with a gray cloudy sky, but thank goodness no rain! The chill in the air penetrated deep into my bones, making my knee problems worse then they usually are.( I just got a cortisone shot on my left knee on Tuesday, three days ago.) The cemetery looks beautiful with the wonderful trees, tombstones and the Fort Worth skyline in the background. Tina's casket was covered with a huge bouquet of big huge red rosebuds, forming a rosary of red roses on a green cushion of leaves and greens! It really looked so very beautiful....she would have loved it!! After the uplifting words of the priest, we had a chance to say goodbye by spreading a little dust on her casket from a small stone container provided. After condolences were given to the immediate family, relatives and friends stood around and talked about they experiences and memories with Tina before staring to leave. I was very slow making my way back to my car because the ground was very rough and uneven making it difficult for me to walk. I was using my cane and holding on to my son's hand. I looked back for a final look and realized the men had lowered her casket into the ground. Whether I am ready or not, I have to accept the fact that Tina is gone, leaving a huge empty space in my life.
Since I arrived 18 years ago here in Fort Worth, she had been a big part of my daily life. I was remembering with my son on my way out of the cemetery the details of our arrival. She had given us instructions of what exit to use, but we missed the exit and ended up downtown. I called her from a public phone and she drove downtown so we could follow her to her home. We slept at her house and the next day, she found me a small apartment where we lived until she told us of a house right across her house, where we lived for some years. Even when we moved to other parts of Fort Worth and even during the two years we spent in Dallas, she and I were visiting each other often and talking on the phone at least twice a day. Sometimes we went to the Thriftstore together or to eat together to celebrate her birthday. Tina was really a wonderful person! Tina, I miss you so much already!!