Friday, December 16, 2011

May The Force Be With You

There are places where I go, where I think of people I have known.
There are stories we repeat, that we've heard a hundred times, and we tell them one more time. There are memories I share with a few, or more. There are memories that are my own. Sometimes everything I remember about a person comes rushing forward... happy, sad, conflicted, funny, painful, irreverent, tender.

Rest in peace Alfredo. Al. Fred. I think of all the places and times where I am tied to memories of you, and it feels unbelievably sad that you are gone.


Thank you for taking us out of school to see the opening days of Empire and Jedi. Thank you for camping at Dos Picos, your Boy Scout tent, all those VW bus trips. Thank you for making dinners... "What's for dinner?" and you answered "Food." Thank you for teaching me the difference between speaking colorfully and being a pinche ass. Thank you for lending me your books, for introducing me to life long friends... Steinbeck, Twain, Kipling, Goodall, Meade. Thank you for Olvera Street, Heber Avenue, Esquintla, and sleeping in a Ford Pinto. Thank you for Mark. Thank you for Michael. Thank you for all those movies, and Chicanismos. Thank you for reaching out to me... you know when, and giving me that gift of closure... the hard part is, now it all feels wide open, and I realize I am missing you.

Sing Star Wars, Al! Sing Star Wars.

Update: Maria V., my sister-in-law, is posting old pictures on FB. I have not seen these in a long time...

Al, Bill, Natalie, and in front: Michael, Hans, and Mark.
UCSD student housing, June 1982

About to head out on a family vacation, and already on shaky ground!

I think Mom must have reminded us to smile, and I see Michael's adorable toothless gap. In spite of how we tormented him, Michael was an irrepressibly joyful and loving child.

The first stop was unscheduled: Visalia, where our faithful VW broke down, and we stayed in a motel room, two nights, waiting for a part to come in. We made it to King's Canyon, through SF, and back to Alhambra for the Fourth of July. It was on this trip that Al was compelled to pull over and say: !#&* Damn it! This is our vacation. And we are going to have fun! @$% $^&! My brothers will recall the colorful urban characters we encountered in San Francisco.


Jennifer said...

Holding you in my thoughts and heart....

nikkipolani said...

Ah, Natalie. Losses are HARD. I'm glad you have such good memories. Hugs to you.