I remember being a little girl and walking to the Ysleta cemetery with my grandma. The cemetery was only a couple of blocks away from our home and I was always scared of it. It is a very old cemetery. Most of the plots are simple, not ornate. Some plots are marked with small barriers, like stones; and some are marked with wooden crosses. There are no trees or grass – its just dirt.
My grandma held my hand with one hand and carried flowers from her garden in her other hand and we walked around the cemetery until she found her “angelitos” little angels.
She dusted off their gravesites and placed flowers for her two children who passed away in 1943, one month right after the other. Her son Jesus Manuel passed away before he was three years old and her other son, Francisco died before he was one. I remember asking my grandma how they died and she got teary eyed and didn’t answer, so I never wanted to ask her again.
I never knew why we were at the cemetery on that chilly fall day; I just knew it was a special day. Now I’ve come to realize that it must have been Día de los Muertos.
Today I’d like to introduce to you my lovely daughter, Maya. She is 12 years old and is my guest blogger today. If you have been following Muy Bueno for a while you know that I love to celebrate Día de los Muertos and enjoy sharing the true meaning of the holiday.
For me this holiday is a day to honor those that have passed. Like my grandma did, I never want to forget our departed loved ones.
This time I asked my daughter to share what she thinks the holiday represents. I really didn’t know what to expect when I asked her to script a story for a Día de los Muertos video. To be honest I was blown away. I invite you to read what Día de los Muetos means to her and watch the video we made, narrated by my daughter. It is by far my most favorite video. I am so proud of her! I am completely in love with it and I hope you are too.
Take it away Maya~
My family has been celebrating Día De Los Muertos since I was eight years old. We decorate an altar with photos, favorite foods, drinks, and memorable items of our deceased loved ones.
This year we wanted to extend the celebration and invited friends and family to join us in celebrating the lives of their departed loved ones. It was a chilly day, but we kept warm by the fire as we drank Mexican hot chocolate and ate all you can eat churros.
We celebrated with my cousin Danica who is honoring her grandpa Wolfgang.
My little brother Blake who is honoring our great-grandma Jesusita and our uncle Wolfgang.
My friend Zeta who is honoring her cousin Matthew.
My cousin Dominic who is honoring his grandpa Wolfgang and his Grandpa Fred.
And I am honoring my great-grandma Anita.
What I like best about this holiday is putting on makeup that makes me look like a sugar skull, hearing stories about my ancestors about what they did in their lives, and getting to know them – it feels as if they are here with me.
Here is a video we made together, sharing what this holiday means to me. I hope you are inspired to celebrate the lives of your departed loved ones.
Special thanks to everyone who assisted to make this day possible.
Photography: Jeanine Thurston / Video: Pure Cinematography / Children: Danica, Blake, Zeta, Dominic, and Maya / MUA: Leilani Drum / Hair Dresser: Karen / Costume Design: Yvette and Jessica / Altar Styling: Lola’s Cocina / Crochet Poncho: Made with Love 4 You / Set Design and Decor: Brenda and Karen / Production Assistants (AKA hubbies) Bill, George, and Augi / Transportation: Lexus