Monday, March 29, 2010

In Memory of...

Sr. Victor Ramirez-The head of a household.

No matter what experience or example, good or bad, the head of your household gives, you will miss them when they are gone.

The head of the household is defined as an adult household member with the largest long-term contribution to the household. Contributions can be income, spirituality, morality, respect, love, comprehension, support, etc...etc... In some cases that person is a Father or Father figure, in others it’s a hard working Mom or Grandmother, or any other who has taken on the responsibility of a household and more importantly of a Family.

In March 2007 after many weeks of weariness and pain, Ricardo’s grandfather passed away and this past Saturday with the heaviest of hearts we celebrated his life, all of us in our way but more importantly on this day we were together, happy and at peace. Family united, for the 3rd memorial Mass, of the head of the household.

Ricardo, my husband, has many memories of his Grandfather and at times regrets not making a trip with him in his last year, unfinished business if you will. The truth is we don’t know when we will die or when others will die, especially if they are ill and older. Ricardo believes that his Grandfather no matter what past he may have had or what kind of life he may have lived was a wonderful and meaningful person in his heart and soul. I think he rooted Ricardo’s old soul and love of music. A composer himself, Don Victor, left behind legacy, un-named tunes and broken hearts. In many ways he held the Ramirez family together, composed and at times apart for their own good.

One thing I personally regret is not having given him 3 years ago the opportunity to meet his Great-Grandson, but everything happens for a reason. Since Don Victor’s passing, Ricardo has only been back to his Grandfather’s grave twice, once in 2008 to tell him how Houston survived Hurricane Ike and then again March 9th, of this year. Not because he didn’t love him or respect him but because his loss is still not healed and the regret of not taking his Grandfather to visit his friend by the sea still weighs heavily on him. Ricardo, I think, has learned that you don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today; his Grandfather meant the world to him, no matter how hard he was on him at times. With that in mind, Ricardo felt we should go to his Grandfathers’ resting place to introduce someone to him, his Great-Grandson, Santiago Isaias. Santiago is only going to be 7 months but he has already started hearing endless stories about his Great-Grandpa.

I pray that Santiago will know that no matter what a person’s past was about we are not here to judge but to honor and respect their lives in our hearts. Ricardo knows this and he does nothing but remember his Grandfathers light hearted laughter and “chistes de doble sentido” which often left Ricardo puzzled. Ricardo’s grandfather was old and stubborn but lively and wise. We hear others say “You’ll know when you get older!” or “Been there done that” and it doesn’t take on any meaning until you are older and know or have truly been there and done that! I only knew Don Victor for 8 years but that was more than enough time to know that he was a loving and caring person, who like all of us did what he could with what he had and often made mistakes but he brought his wife and children to the U.S., to thrive and accomplish. I think he was very proud of them but too proud to tell them, and in the end, wrong or not he loved us and in return was loved.

Ricardo loved his Grandfather and knows that one day we will be with him again, listening to his jokes and making him mad with redundant information. Ricardo and his Uncles have a very unique relationship, they tend to bust each other’s chops quite a bit, “burlones” if you will but that’s how they express their feelings sometimes good, sometimes bad, but that’s what it takes to be a part of this family, love it or leave it, is what I have learned. In the words of Mrs. Yolanda, one of the Tia's; “If you can’t beat’em, join’em!” Simple enough but so true! Ricardo had that same relationship, always with respect, with his Grandfather and I know that he misses making his Grandfather squirm and then listening to his laugh and seeing his toothless grin when he would get him back! He is truly missed.

I write this with so much love and out of respect for a family that has seen me grow up and not only welcomed me to be a part of them but have seen me give life to a new generation of this family…. I am more than happy to know that through the good and the bad we are family and we are here.

I hope that today you remember those who are no longer with us and pray that they rest in peace and that their family members live in peace.

"I am leaving you with a gift -- peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid." John 14:27

This blog surged because on March 15th, I went to see Lady Antebellum with my sister in law and she mentioned how she had not gone to visit her Grandfathers tomb and we talked about how it’s on our way to and from work and neither of us had gone….. The conversation was spontaneous and out of the blue… God knows when…. is all I could think….

Love You RAMIREZ Family, no matter what….

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