Saturday, November 1, 2008
In Honor of my Father and In Honor of You. (Feliz Dia De Los Muertos)
Yes, this weekend's celebrations and Memorials are being celebrated throughout my Mother Land. What I find even more facinating, is that this rich and beautiful tradition is catching on with the rest of the world. I am very honored to be involved in an online Dia De Los Muertos Fiesta. (aka Dia De Bloglandia) Artists from across the globe are dedicating their blogs to various memorials, and I encourage you to visit each one of them. I can't wait to visit them myself.
This is my 3rd year observing Dia De Los Muertos online, and I am dedicating this blog to my father, Marcelo Rodriguez Jr., who passed away 6 years ago. My father passed over suddenly of a heart attack. He had a heart attack the year before, had an angioplasty procedure, and made a full recovery. In fact, I had forgotten he even had a heart attack, because he was that strong and determined. However the second heart attack, took him fast.
My family and I were at our favorite taqueria, when I got the call. It was one of my father's neighbors, and he was frantic. He told me the ambulance just picked up my father and he was en route to the hospital. That instant, I knew he was gone. Everything after that was extremely surreal. We left the restaurant and headed to the hospital. I can't even explain the feeling, other than numbness. Some of my father's neighbors were in the emergency room and greeted me, by saying how sorry they were. Just like that, he was gone. Only 59 years old, and gone.
I was my Father and mother's only child, but after their divorce, he had two more children. They were much younger than me. In fact, my baby sis, is actually younger than my youngest son. Both my brother and sister lived with my father, and at the time of his passing, my brother had just moved out, and I took in my sister. On one hand, I can't believe how fast time has passed, and on the other, it seems like an eternity. So much has happened since he has been gone, and even though I know he is still with us, I miss him through all the good times.
My father was a social animal. He made friends easily and was always attending someones wedding, bbq, and family get togethers.. He had a pretty rough childhood, and I think he gravitated towards friends who had strong family ties. He had adopted families all over the country, and any time I went to a function with him, everyone treated my father, like he was part of their family.
In the above picture, you will see his high school photo as well as a photo taken of him shortly before his passing. My father believed strongly in an ice cold beer. I mean it really had to be cold. He was forever telling off bartenders and or restaurant owners if their beer was not cold enough. I used to get so embarrassed!
My father was a Diesel Mechanic and through out the years, he amassed a huge collection of Snap on Tools. For those of you with mechanics in your life, you will know the love they have for Snap On Tools! His collection was so enormous, Snap On reps would call on him and ask if they can see and photograph his collection. This would make my father emensly proud. In his ofrenda, I included one of his Snap On wrenches.
He was also old school. My dad would always like to stop by his favorite bar on the way home from work for an ice cold one. After his 1st heart attack, he had to cut back, and the owners of the bar regulated his drinks. They said after his beer, they would make him drink a tall glass of water in a King's (our basketball team) glass. The bar held a memorial for him a week after his passing and they gave me the King's glass in his honor. I put it out each year on my Ofrenda for my dad.
For the past couple of years, I have been making sugar skulls for various projects, and I always save a couple for my ofrenda.
Being crafty, does have it's advantages. I have met a lot of amazing and generous crafters who are always surprising me with handmade items. I call them pieces of their soul, and I hold every single item close to my heart.
I always like to add Fruit to my ofrendas and I usually add bread. There is a bakery that makes special bread for Dia De Los Muertos, but yeah hi, kids got to it before I did.
Of course I always have to have a spot in my Ofrenda for my girl Frida. (Done by Carlos Villez)
My father was not religious at all. Although I think he started to grow spiritually as he got older, and soon after he passed, I had one of those vivid dreams about him. I asked him how he was doing, and he said he was great. Then I asked him, "Hey Dad, is there a God?" I figured I needed to cut to the chase, ya know? He just looked at me kinda snarky, and said........'Yeah, he is here" Haha. I woke up laughing. My father hated to be wrong.
I, myself am not religious at heart either, however, I do consider myself very spiritual and I have love for all religious art, stories and rituals.
I also had a visiter stop by my Ofrenda. She has wearing her fiercest green dress.
Not only is this blog dedicated to my father, but I would also like to dedicate this blog to all of you and your loved ones. Please feel free to share your memory. Special shot out goes to the familia of Jennifer Hudson, my corazon goes out to you.
Be sure to leave a comment. I will do a drawing next week for a lil Dia De Los Muertos themed Mixed Media art assembledge. Be sure to leave a comment, and I will notify the winner next Friday.