Danny & Family

Just Some Random Stories About Me and My Family

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Tree in Memory of my Grandmother

Two weeks ago, family and friend gathered at the park at the end of the street where my mom lives to plant a tree in the memory of my grandmother. My grandmother, Ofelia, passed away back in April at the age of 96. She was a member of the Women's Club of Artesia and Cerritos. The WCAC has a tradition of donating a tree and having it planted in the memory of their members after they have passed on. It was a spectacular morning - clear and cool.

The City of Cerritos sent a couple of their maintenance workers to dig the hole and place the tree in it. Several shovels were also provided to add in the dirt, which was piled to the side. Before we began, my mom greeted all who attended, and then said a prayer. My sister Donna then read a poem she wrote, which was previously included in the funeral program. Here's Donna reading. Her husband Louis is to the left holding their baby, Jonathan. Our nephew Jacob is in the foreground:

Here's a shot of the tree. The family didn't get to choose where it would be planted; that decision was made by the city. It's a little too close to this baseball diamond in my opinion. It didn't help that there was a girl's softball game going on. Most of the spectators of the game split their attention between us and the girls on the field.
The first shovel-fulls of dirt were put in by my mom and her sister, my aunt Dolores. No one calls her aunt Dolores; she's known to all as Nina Lolita. No one calls my mom Norma; she's known to all as Mama Norma. Anyway, here they are:

Everyone who wanted to got a chance to shovel in dirt, and my wife Laura took several pictures. I'm only going to show a couple more - Brady and Nina (with their cousin Timothy in the foreground):

And me:

After we were done shoveling in dirt, we moved to the shaded picnic tables and had sweet pastries, juice and coffee. We talked and visited with each other. My mom introduced all of the family to the WCAC members. Decorating one of the tables was this flower arrangement and picture of my grandmother:

One of my grandmother's favorite songs was Sunshine on my Shoulders, by John Denver. What an appropriate song for the day, as it was beaming down on all of us. My sister Denise sang the song for us while playing her guitar:

More visiting and conversations continued until it was time to go. Laura had me pose with my mom and the kids before we left:

It was a beautiful day, and a great way to honor my grandmother. Her favorite tree was a Magnolia, and we were so grateful that the city granted the request by the WCAC to have a Magnolia planted in her name. If you are ever in Cerritos, you're welcome to stop by Frontier Park and visit Grandma's tree.

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