|Waverley Chapel, Fairhaven Memorial Park|
|RIP, Mari Lou Laso Elders|
|Relampago del Cielo (Lighting in the Sky)|
|Entrance of Waverley Chapel|
Maria brought Mari Lou's framed graduation photo and also one of Mari Lou with her father, Manny, who died a couple of years earlier, to place on one of the altars in front of the chapel. She also brought a proof copy of Mari Lou's young adult novel, Otherwise Known as Possum, which will be published by Scholastic Press on February 28. When we left the service one of the presiding priests told us that he had blessed all the photos that celebrants had brought. (I took photos of the altars, but for some reason all my photos of the evening failed to upload to my computer. I thank the Fairhaven Facebook page for the ones I have posted here.)
Maria and I appreciated the traditional dishes provided by El Indio Tortilleria: chicken, pork, corn and strawberry tamales, pan dulce and hot chocolate. Maria also brought along some cookies in the shape of bones and skulls.
To cap the evening, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. When Maria, pregnant with Mari Lou, and Manny fled Cuba in 1962, they were relocated to Downers Grove, Illinois, about 20 miles from Chicago's Loop. Manny grew to love the Cubs. Mari Lou, close to her father, became a fan, as well. At the end of the service at Fairhaven, Maria confided that she believed Manny must have been exercising some heavenly pressure to help the Cubs come so far in the finals. We smiled at the thought of father and daughter clapping their hands for the Cubs from their heavenly seats. After the service I met a friend to watch the final two innings, and thought of the pair once again.
I had been unfamiliar with the songs played during the service, but the Hispanic attendees sang along to every one of them, including "100 Ovejas," and "Pescador de Hombres." I was reminded of how much my Spanish has faded since I left the Dominican Republic in late 1994. In those days I knew full well that "ovejas" meant sheep, and not bees ("abejas") as Maria explained to me when I initially mistranslated. The words still sound alike to my untrained and incapable of fine distinctions ear...and it reminded me that when I was a child I couldn't distinguish between "chair" and "share." I think I understood about 70% of what the priests were saying, but that figure might be bolstered because some of the service was in English.
|Mariachi Los Potrillos play "Amor Eterno."|
I did recognize the final tune, though, "Amor Eterna," because I've heard the late Juan Gabriel sing it. Eternal love...and how do the living hold on to that, when they grieve? A friend posted the saying about grief on Facebook yesterday, so I'm sharing this thought. I do believe that the final line is correct...grief is love with no place to go. El Dia de los Muertos ceremonies give us a place to go. Thank you, Fairhaven.
|Altar offerings at Waverley|
(And RIP, Juan Gabriel, who died this past August.)
|Juan Gabriel, El Divo de Juarez|