Friday, June 29, 2012

The Earrings of My Grandmother

I fell so guilty for not having stayed closer to my aunt Fita, but I didn't want her to worry about all the problems I had in my life. she had done the best she could for me and I felt I had not lived for the high potential she had in mind for me.
But I am very lucky to have spend a very happy week with her one year before she died, not knowing it would be my last time with her. I had a wek off and decided to go spend it with her beginning with the dqay of her birthday.  I took a bus to the Rio Grande Valley and even had time to spend a few hours visiting with my cousin Celia because of a stopover in San Antonio.
I arrived in Weslaco at 6am and was able to take a taxi to my aunt's house, where she had breakfast waiting for me.  She was very happy  to have me there and we enjoyed our time together very much. Although we did talk a lot during that visit I never got to ask her a question I had always had in my mind--whether she was my real mother.  I somehow always felt she was my mother, but might have let her sister raise me because she was unmarried when I was born.  I guess I will never know the truth for sure.My aunt did live with my mother after her father died until she got married about 6 months after my birth.
The following year she fell and injured her hip and was hospitalized.  The doctor said it was not serious at all, but if I wanted to go see her it would make my aunt very happy.  Then I talked to my aunt and what she said made me decide to go see her.  She told me that she had taken her earrings off and that she had given them to the woman who worked with her.  She said Belen would save them until I got there. I felt my aunt knew she was going to die and I immediately started packing a small bag to go. Her earrings had been placed in her ears when her mother died since she was the youngest daughter.  She always told me that the earrings would belong to me upon her death, but used to tease me that I would have to take them off her AFTER HER DEATH. Because she never took off her earring even to take a bath, the people at the hospital knew her well and allowed her to keep her earrings on.  That she had decided to take them told me I had to go see her while she was still alive.A couple of hours later, as I was running out to catch the local bus to the bus station, I got a phone call from the hospital--my aunt was dead! I demanded to talk to the doctor who had told me it was not serious but was unable to talk to him.  I called my local cousin to tell her the shocking news and she and her husband decided  to drive there for the funeral and I went with them. My youngest son and my daughter went with me too.
As soon as I walked up the steps to my aunt's apartment, Belen immediately gave me the earrings because she had promised my aunt to give them as soon as I arrived!Since I had to use the bathroom after our long trip I immediately put on my aunt's earrings, knowing that is what she would want. As soon as my other local cousins arrived, they asked where the earrings were and I was able to show them on my ears. Many seemed to feel they had a claim on them since they had belonged to our grandmother, but since my aunt didn't have any children and I was always very close to her like a daughter, my aunt always said they were mine.  she felt they should then be passed on to my daughter.  Today I feel that if my daughter never has any daughter to pass them to, they should go to Alyssa, my first grand daughter.
My aunt always felt I should have them first before I passed them on to my daughter as I had intended because I didn't have pierced ears, but my daughter did.  So at the age of 36, I finally pierced my ears.  I did it myself, and then pierced the three more times for a total of 6 piercings. Because I had a problem with one of the piercings I ended up with seven-a lucky number I felt. I love earrings.  At the age of 67, I even pierced the upper part of my ears but it was so painful I took off the strings and lost those piercingsb ut got a present of an ear cuff.

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