Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"Yo Soy Contento": Remembering my Tata

Remembering my Tata always, but especially today.  Wishing I was sitting in his living room listening to him talk and sipping my Nana's iced tea.  He went home to be with his Jesus one year ago.  I am re-posting what I wrote that day:

The smell of corn tortillas warming on a black griddle and Mexican music takes me instantly to my grandparent's house.  We visited them about once a year, growing up.  As soon as we walked in we'd hear, "HEY!  Long time no see!"

My Tata was loud and feisty.  He spoke a little English.  I speak very little Spanish.  Two things he was sure to say several times during our visits were "Noni!", calling my Nana, and "Cierra la puerta!" (close the door!).  He didn't want the cold air to go out the front door with the opening and closing. 

Although I couldn't understand 90% of what he was saying, I enjoyed hearing him talk about politics and Jesus, because he was passionate about both.  And his laughter.  It was the kind that makes you want to laugh too.  He had a singing fish - the kind that is on a wooden plaque that dances when you press the button.  My Tata would laugh every time he heard it.  He also had a stuffed parrot that would repeat everything you said.  It wouldn't take long for us to tire of it, but he never did.  Haha!  The things that gave him joy. 

Jesus also gave him joy.  He loved church.  During worship time he would clap his hands big.  Not loud big, but round big.  He would bring his hands up and together around in circle.  And always off beat.  Although he didn't know the words very well he would sing them loudly.  Mostly they were wrong.  *Smile*

When we last sat in his living room he said many times, "Yo soy contento." (I am happy).  My Nana interpreted as he told us that he was happy for his home and his car and that he had many children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was happy that we were there visiting with him.  He talked about coming to visit us.  We knew that at 94, that would not be possible for him.  We brought him a pastry from the Mexican bakery.  My sister, Ang and I peeked into "our" room to see if the Donald Duck light switch plate we remembered was still there.  It was.  It used to glow in the dark.  We had some of my Nana's iced tea.  Nobody makes it like she does.  We took pictures and after a wonderful time, we hugged goodbye. 

I didn't know that it would be our last goodbye.  Today, my Tata went home to be with his Jesus.  Although I am sad, I smile as I imagine him singing and dancing and clapping that big round clap.  Offbeat.  He's laughing and saying "yo soy contento".  I'll see him again.  When I do I'm going to give him a big hug and say, "Long time no see!".  And we will be contento.  Muy contento.

I love you, Tata.


  1. Prayers lifted as you remember today. Thank you for sharing your memories. Your love for your Tata was reflected in evey word.


I love to hear what you have to say!