Friday, May 2, 2014


David, Mario, Aunt Rose, Me, Jennifer and James 2010

When you throw a pebble into a pool of water, there are ripples that make rings around it.  They are quite beautiful and are proverbial examples of how there are affects of actions we take.  I want to tell you about Mario’s Aunt Rose today, a woman of peace whose life is one pleasant ripple after another.

I met her at Uncle Frank and Aunt Carmen’s place when she came for a visit.  She was wearing a blue dress and radiated peace.  Her husband, a big man named Raul, was eating chiles whole and reminded me of some Uncles of mine in Southern California.

“My Aunt Rose is the baby of the family,”  Mario told me that day. “She is the normal one in my Dad’s family.”

Mario’s father’s family was extraordinary, but not normal.  His paternal grandparents, Joe and Amanda were from Spain and lived life as immigrant business owners in the town of Hollister, California.  They had twins – Mario and Carmen; then Angelo (Mario’s Dad), then Rose. 

Mario was a professor at USC and wrote books (that I struggled to read) in academic languages; he was married to Aunt Mildred.   Carmen (whom Chev called the “love of the family”)was an intelligent, opinionated, stunning beauty – she married Uncle Frank.  Angelo (he later changed his name to Shev Rogers) was a Broadway actor who could sing – he married Mario’s Mom (Cynthia) then Alice (who Alicia is named after).  Then there was Rose, who I didn’t really know.  She lived in New Mexico and wrote letters by hand to us, she seemed so peaceful.

The day I met her, I realized she was.  Aunt Rose (Tia Rose) was peaceful.  She listened and asked questions.  She was interested in our children.  It was like she was the keeper of family memories, and she explained about Mario, Carmen and Angelo in one sitting to me that day.  She said Angelo was always sweet and Mario was naughty and everyone thought it was the other way around.  She said her big sister Carmen really was full of love, like Chev said. 

That day, we took family pictures and had maybe three or four hours together.  Later, she walked us out to the car to say goodbye.  She was unhurried and calm.  Peaceful.

Years later, I saw her again in Tuscon, her new home.  Uncle Raul had died and she was living by herself now.  We had a wonderful lunch and a family time with her son and grandchildren.  We cherished the time together and hold it in our hearts.

Sometimes we think that family is close if they spend a lot of time together.  I believe that a precious family is made up of many parts, including the gems that you hardly see.  Aunt Rose is precious to us, even though I have seen her only twice in my life. 

Happy Birthday, Aunt Rose.  You are an example of a family gem and we cherish you.