Posted on 13. Mar, 2012 by Erika Pedroza
Today marks five years since my Lita lost her battle with cancer. And I miss her.
Several things remind me of her — snocones, Halloween, poker, Lent (for her delectable Lent-food cooking), Cookie Crisp cereal, flour tortillas, tamales (can you tell she cooked her way to my heart), summer time, sprinklers (she kept an impeccable lawn) and backyard baseball.
But in honor of her five-year absence, I share with you my five most favorite memories:
1. We both shared a love for water parks. In the summers, my mom and aunt would take a day and load the family for a day of fun at NRH20 water park in North Richland Hills. Our favorite attraction was the wave pool. Because she never learned to drive, we couldn’t just get up and head to the park. So the day of water park fun was limited to one, maybe two, a summer. But we didn’t go without our wave pool fix. My cousins and I would splash around in a plastic inflatable pool as she (all 120 pounds of her) pushed and shoved one pool’s edge to make waves. We were spoiled.
2. Halloween 2005. Chimoltrufia. Google it and picture a 58-year-old woman’s rocking that costume. Enjoy the depiction.
3. She could not stand the thought of having a granddaughter that couldn’t dance gracefully. So, following every quinceañera I was a part of, we’d have critique sessions and all-out dance parties in the living room (coffee table and couches cleared). Just the thing to do in tumultous teen years, but I’d like to think it worked.
4. “I Love Lucy,” fresh-baked chocolate chip or manufactured iced otmeal cookies (no other variety) and a tall glass of milk. It was our nightly routine in the summers and winter breaks I spent at her house.
5. A few days before her death, my aunt was feeding her lentils. She took two spoonfuls and motioned no more. Pleased with that progress (as she hadn’t eaten much of anything the preceeding few weeks), my aunt got up to rinse the bowl. I sat across the room from her when my grandma reached for her sweater, spit out the spoon’s contents and managed a smirk and wink at me. Those two emotions were the last I witnessed of her. And there couldn’t have been a more accurate depiction of the sassy, witty and loving person she was.