IN HONOR OF OUR BELOVED DEAD
Lady La Muerte
The Lady La Muerte arrives in her finest gown
Covered with butterflies, up and down;
her dress the color of la muerte;
her hat needs the bull fighter’s suerte;
From afar la familia muerta looks on,
To one special cowboy we are drawn,
— the one with butterfly visage on–
Together we gather with food and with chatter,
And know that our love lives on and on,
And know that our love lives on.
Dia de los Muertos had a special significance for our family this year.
The photos here tell the story along with the poem I wrote about our family’s celebration. On November 1st, I built an ofrenda on Dan’s special table where his ashes reside until his burial in the spring. Next to him you see our precious dog, Ash, who died in July 2019, winning the race of death with her beloved master and leading the way.
The traditional marigold flowers were added as November 2nd came round and the cast of characters came to the ofrenda–an offering in gratitude for each of their lives.
My dear Pen Pal, Lois, was surprised when somehow her husband, the beloved David Michaud, came to my ofrenda by accident and sits beneath my grandmother, Isabel, and her brother, Teddo, who stand guard over David, who died just months before my Dan.
In our many talks, widow to widow, I can see that Lois’s David and my Dan would have been wonderful friends had they met in this life. They would have been fishing buddies, if we lived in Colorado and, who knows, maybe they are fishing buddies now in the hereafter.
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS AT DEBI’S
Debi hosted the celebration on November 6th in Redlands for our children and many of our grandchildren who were able to attend. She created her first ofrenda, with donuts on it for Dan, that was muy bonita! Deb invited us to add our photos for the night. We prepared and shared traditional Mexican food dishes and Deb’s hubby (yet another great Dan!) set us up to watch CoCo on a giant screen in the front yard.
OFRENDA AT NORCO COLLEGE
Denise helped to create an ofrenda at Norco College where students, faculty, and staff added photos of their loved ones. The cowboy at the top of this post, seen top and just-right-of-center in this photo, is our beloved Dan Neff in his best version of his cowboy self!
A week or so after this photo was taken it was fun to walk with Denise to see the photos that staff and students added and seeing Dan front and center on yet another muy bonita ofrenda!
HOLD ON TO THE LOVE, FRIENDS . . . the veil is thin between us and our special ones.
As the month of the dead continues through November, the time when the world turns its attention to the letting go that must occur when leaves fall and the face of the earth is barren, I wish for your loved ones to be near to you through your memories. HAPPY DIA DE LOS MUERTOS!