Saturday, November 1, 2008

In Honor of my Father and In Honor of You. (Feliz Dia De Los Muertos)

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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.

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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.

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In Memory of my Padre

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Of course I always have to have a spot in my Ofrenda for my girl Frida. (Done by Carlos Villez)
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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.

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I also had a visiter stop by my Ofrenda. She has wearing her fiercest green dress.
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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.

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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.

Paz,

Yoli
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43 comments:

glorv1 said...

Yoli, that was awesome. Your dad must be so proud of you. Everything was perfect. I'm sorry for the loss of your dad. He really looks like he was a happy kind of guy. Thank you for sharing all those awesome photos and the beautiful ofrenda. Take care.

1,000 Faces of MotherHenna said...

Thank you so much for sharing your dad, your ofrenda, and art with us! Beautiful. The Frida is stunning...and your sugar skulls are so playful and endearing. Many, many miracles to you!
k-

Leau said...

this is really cool! I really like the coffin, great blog

Elizabeth said...

What a lovely, loving tribute to your father.
Such colors - such joy.
I think this is the day for such warm remembrances.
Greetings from New York.

silverstarsanctuary said...

Great post and I love all your creations!They are amazing and full of life really and color. :)
http://www.magicalmuse.typepad.com

Cyndi said...

yoli, my sweet friend, your celebration of your father's life is incredibly touching. there are so many similarities between our fathers. your dad must be very proud of you.
feliz dia de los muertos to you yoli. you're a special lady.
cyndi

LostLuggage said...

Awesome! I Love reading about your dad...It is so great that you know hold the stories about him close to your heat and that you shared them with all of us! I laughed a little when you told us about your dream...my dad would do the same thing!

Lisa "Oceandreamer" S. said...

Your Dad sounds like he was quite a guy and I am sure he'd have a good laugh over the King's glass as part of the ofrenda. These memories, these tributes, the love....that keeps our loved ones with us always.
Thank you for sharing him today.

girl_gone_thread_wild said...

Beautiful SOUL, you!

Completely enamored with ALL of your creations today...

as a Mexican relocated to ALABAMA of all places I can't say this tradition is extended to my doorstep just yet (but slowly... it is moving closer to me here).

What an expressive way to say I LOVE YOU to those here & passed... I'm sitting here with a happy heart & mind, thank you!

xo, Monica

rachel whetzel said...

LOVE your ofrenda!! I hope that mine grows to look as good as yours!!

susanna said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post about your father, Yoli. What a character! Sounds like he knew how to live his life to the fullest and with such joy. I laughed when I read about the dream about your dad and God. "Yeah, he is here." Hah! What a fun dream to have with him. :)

susanna said...

PS: My dad died the same way and he was also 59 years old when he died.

Nelly said...

Oh, Yoli. I got tears in my eyes; after I read your dad's age when he passed really was a shock because that was exactly my papa's age when he passed away many years ago. What a beautiful ofrenda you've made on your blog to honor him. Thanks for sharing your story. Thanks for stopping by and visiting too.

Nelly

mermaid musings said...

Super di duper photoz and art!
Feliz dia de los muertos!
p.s. love your etsy ;-)

rochambeau said...

Beautiful tribute Yoli!!
Your Papa sounds like a great man.
This is a colorful celebration of life everlasting!!!

xox
Constance

Stephanie said...

Yoli! This was so very beautiful and moving. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your altar and collections af Dia de los Muertos art.

Thank you too for joining the Dia de Bloglandia celebration!

x...x
steph

3rdEyeMuse said...

I enjoyed reading all your wonderful memories of your father, but am sad to say that the pictures are not appearing. I will definitely be back to try again. :)

Happy Dia de los Muertos!

ps - no, it's not just you - this whole day has been more than therapeutic ... it's been full of magic, too.

Stacia said...

Thank you for sharing your amazing ofrenda and your father's story with us. It is inspiring.

atrinkettreasury said...

oh my, i am so blown away by your post! truly amazing ofrenda! i absolutely love your candle holder and sugar skulls and little shrine boxes!!! such beautiful vibrant colors! thank you so very much for sharing your memories of your father and the love you shared. i feel truly honored for sharing this with you.

i also am not religious but spiritual, however appreciate all religious art... i'm just in awe with all your dia de los muertos crafts... again beautiful!!!

Gemma said...

Yoli Feliz dia de los muertos.
We share the same last name, Manzo.
Actually it's my married name.
:-)

Sandra said...

The good memories that we keep in our hearts can make the loss of our loved ones just a little easier to bear. Sharing those memories is a gift we give to others. Thanks for sharing Yoli.

Karen Cole said...

So many admiring and paying tribute to their fathers. Beautiful colors!!

Mary said...

Dear Yoli,
I just loved the stories of your father. It's so wonderful to have those warm memories. What a beautiful tribute. So inspiring--the stories, the ofrenda, the art! I'm one of those people that has embraced Dia de Los Muertos in recent years; my heritage is Polish, Irish, and French. I just love the spirit of the day. So healing! Thank you for sharing your story.
Mary xxx

PLO said...

LOVE IT! THank you for including us in the dedication! I enjoyed hearing about your Dad. How sad he had to leave you so young. You put a lot of love in to that ofrenda, I can tell!

Paula Scott said...

Wow Yoli, what a wonderful story and tribute to your father! I love the fact that his bar honored his death and that they gave you his King glass.
Thank you for telling the story of your dad and the events that led up to his death. You are his living legacy.
And thank you too for sending good thought out to Jennifer Hudson and her family. I have been thinking about her and how she must feel at this time. So many to loose all at one time!
You are very generous.

Sacred Yoli said...

Thank each and everyone of you for stopping by and listening to my stories. I am truly honored that you stopped by. This has been an amazing experience. All of your stories are now part of me as well.

Saludos,

Yoli Manzo

Debbie said...

Sounds like your father made the most out of his short life. Your memorial to him is very touching.

Bean said...

Awesome post, Yoli - your dad sounds like he was a blast! My dad's ofrenda would have a 40 of MGD and a bag of Top roll your own tobacco on it, along with a few sci-fi novels, heh! He was only 52, there's never a good time to go...

JeriAnn said...

I am totally blown away by your amazing tribute to your dad. His affection for his tools made me laugh and his passing had me in tears. Your reminiscences touched all the flavors of emotion. So much love and beauty here!

Thank you for sharing your tradition with us.

Yoli said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. Thank you for letting us peek behind the curtain into the life of a sweet man.

dubuhdudesigns said...

This is one of the most personal and heartfelt oferendas I have visited, Yoli. I am so sad to hear of his passing..it must have been shocking at the very least. I like that you mentioned bits about him, like that he liked his beer cold. Because it's little things like that that truly make up our memories of our loved ones..it's what made them human. Your alter is a sight to behold and I am in love with the bright nichos and catrina doll. I just held my first sugar skulls this past weekend and brought them back to Oregon( I'm trying to figure out how to keep them without my son or ants getting to them..hehe).

Wonderful Post..your dad would be so honored :)

PJ said...

Thank you for your nice comment on my blog. I'm just in awe of this...growing up I certainly heard about this honoring, but some of these blog (including yours) are just blewing me away!!! I think it's just a wonderful thing- to honor in such a rich way ones that have passed!!!

Laume said...

Your ofrenda is beautiful and I just loved hearing about your father! You reminded me of when my father passed away. It's been several decades now but it still feels like it was "just a while ago". He, too, had a favorite "watering hole" called Green Acres. It was a place he and his buddies hung out. He was a mechanical engineer but a lot of his friends were teachers. After his funeral they had a "wake" of sorts for him at the tavern and passed a hat, offering the money collected to help defray funeral expenses. It was certainly appreciated but more than the money, it was knowing how much he was loved and befriended that warmed my heart. Still does. The tavern too is now gone, torn down many years ago, times change. It's nice there are still people around that remember.

'A Tuscan view.....from Umbria' said...

I love this joyous tribute to you dad. I know exactly what it's like experience that sudden loss, my father died exactly the same way but a few years older. Your shrine is a wonderful contribution to this celebration and I will drink a toast to both our dads in honour. best wishes amanda

GoddessLeonie.com - the Creative Goddess said...

this is such a beautiful, sacred and honouring altar... bless you woman for creating it and sharing it.
Namaste,
Leonie ~ Creative Goddess
www.GoddessLeonie.com

3rdEyeMuse said...

oooh! I am soooooo happy - I cam back and all the photos are there in all their glory! What a stunning ofrenda you share - all the amazing detail ... what a PERFECT tribute. :)

robin west said...

Lovely, only the good die young, my dad was 54 when he died and your loving tribute felt as if it honored my father as well. THANKYOU.

cairnlae said...

I keep running into you in the strangest(well maybe not SO strange)ways.I am subcribed to your blog at myspace and then today I was randomly loking thru flicr and found you there!Love your shrine to your father...so many interesting stories behind everything!!!And he was absolutely right about ice cold beer!

Wanda said...

This is all so beautiful - the art and the narrative. Thank you for the chance to win one of your beautiful assembleges. I would be honored to have it on my Dia de Los Muertos altar next year.

Quirky Dame said...

What a beautiful, moving ofrenda! Thank you so much for sharing it. All those small details you included really showed what a wonderful man he was.

rosieposie said...

YOLI! I love this post and all the descriptions you gave! The part I like is how you would be embarrassed when your Dad would yell at someone if their beer wasn't cold enough. My Dad was a yeller too as kids! I totally understand the embarrassment part! Hugs to you! RosiePosie

Belinda said...

i know i'm late, but i had to comment on your fabulous ofrenda! i understand things better now and just love all the little details and attention. bravo!!

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