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I wrote this in November 2011 with my aunt in my mind, in my heart. Little did I know that a few months later she would be gone. This post sat in my drafts beckoning for release. Now, that her soul has done so, I feel very compelled to let my words do the same.

My aunt, the one I’ve known all my life, has Alzheimer’s. She has lived with it for about 20 years now. Before it unfolded, taking her away little by little, she was a caring mother, a cook extraordinaire, a talented seamstress, a friend to my mother, a faithful Catholic.

Memory is impermanent.

We experience the haze around it in varying degrees. At times, we are curiously selective…enhancing the good parts, embellishing the dramatic ones. Yet, even the pieces are remarkable. What we remember is truly a gift.

This poem is remembering my aunt.

titia, we call her,
an endearing nickname
our childhood carried to this very moment.
walking in heels, always in heels…
who knew a woman of such small stature
had so much spunk and opinion,
strength and determination?
her hands created art with fabric and trim
her kitchen aromas would draw in the hungry;
on sisterly visits, she’d share words
for hours and hours,
speckled with a laughter
contagious
that made others join in;
these things i remember
when looking into her eyes now,
hoping their reflections
beckon a moment
of memory for her too.

In loving memory of Janina Berrocal

{April 9, 1929~March 26, 2012}

                                                                               photo credit

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