Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy 80th Birthday, Grandma

the back of this picture of my grandparents says "June 1962"
If she were still with us this is how old my grandma, Margarita Zapata, would have been.
My grandma only spoke Spanish. She never drove a car her entire life. She was a devoted wife and mother and my mommy and I are the only ones in our family that have her pale complexion.
My favorite memories of my grandma include me trying to make her laugh the only way I could: by saying the word "fart" in Spanish. I know that sounds silly, but I couldn't make complete sentences in Spanish and I loved hearing her laugh.  I only knew 'Spanglish' (combo of English & Spanish) and of course, I only knew the naughty/silly words. I could also tell her that my brother or sister peed their pants (it wasn't true) just to get her laughing. She was easily amused - I know where I get it from. :)
1984 - when my grandpa had us all do a spontaneous road trip to several states
me, Mommy, Grandma
My grandma passed away when I was 15 so I remember her very well. I'll never forget how she waited on the front porch, just about everyday, for me and my siblings to get home from school when we were youngsters. I miss seeing her there when we visit the old house in Poteet. (That's where my uncle and his family + my grandpa still live).
Mikey and I try and remember to visit my grandma's resting place each time we're in Texas. We saw her again this last trip and I had a wonderful, long conversation with her. I asked Mikey to take a few pictures, and then I asked him if he thought that was morbid. I could see how some might think so, but Mikey confirmed what I already felt. 
When I go home to see my family, I take lots of pictures, because I don't get to see them as often as I'd like. And I want to remember the moments. For me, this is the same with visiting my grandma. I know she's not physically here anymore, but that doesn't mean I don't feel her presence. I'm keeping her alive in my life still. So when I see the pictures that Mikey took of this visit with her, I remember what I had to say to her, as far as updating my life, and the happy tears I always shed when telling her of how happy she'd be for our growing family. 
This particular picture I really love, because of the way the sun is shining almost through me, if that makes sense. I know that it wouldn't really mean anything any other time, but because of where I was and the moment I was having, I feel like it does mean something very special. 
I hope everything I said makes sense. We are taking our friend Purdie out to eat right now, but I really wanted to do a little post for my beloved grandma. I love you, grandma.



  1. awwww this post is so sweet. Happy Birthday Mrs. Zapata!!!! I know she's smiling down on you always. Love is a bond not even death can break and I know her spirit lives on all around you and within you everyday :)

  2. This is sweet. I just got off the phone with Gilbert and was telling him today was her birthday, then I took a look at your blog and there she is! I remember we used to put makeup on her awful but she always let us! And we ALWAYS put lipstick on her teeth and I swear she'd laugh so hard she would pee herself! Lol, ohhhh to be able to have another day like that ...

  3. ohhhhhhhhhhhh and i found those shoes in black...

  4. What a lovely post. Happy birthday abuela (that is Spanish for grandmother right? I took 3 years of it, you'd think I'd know:/) so I'm curious how do you say "fart" in Spanish? Lol! Enjoy your evening out!

  5. Aww, Roni-Licious! I know you're beautiful grandma is beaming down on you and bursting with pride at how you continue to develop. You are an amazing person and I don't doubt for a minute that she played a huge role in that. Love you babycakes!

    With Class & Sass,

  6. Aww! How sweet!
    You know, as odd as you may find this, you are one of my few Hispanic friends, so I know how you feel & I feel like you and I have this special bond, because we experienced similar things growing up. I'm getting tears in my eyes thinking about it, thinking about my grandma. She only knew Spanish, too. Never drove a car either. (Except all of us, we're all very brown! lol) Happy 80th birthday, SeƱorita Zapata!
    Have fun tonight doll.

  7. I love the picture too, I know how you mean about the sun! Happy 80th birthday to your grandma, she sounds like a great lady, it's lovely the little memories you have of trying to make her laugh :). xo

  8. awww this is so sweet <3

  9. Thanks, dolls ♥ I appreciate ALL the lovely words.

    Jen, our grannies could be soul sisters. :)

    And Mona, I TOTALLY remember putting makeup on grandma, and YESSS, half the time the lipstick was all over her teeth, the blush was overkill, her eyeshadow was hooker-blue, and all the while she laughed her little butt off and let us get away with it. She was really the best grandma.

  10. =) They could be. I keep tellin ya, we could be related. Who knows?

  11. Haha I know, you've always said that. Imagine if we were. What would change? Nothing probably. We're already close as hell. :)

  12. =) Very true. It would just make it official, I guess. My family dates back to Seguin/San Antonio area, so it always makes me wonder. lol

  13. Oh wow, that's pretty interesting! Except in doing my video interview with my grandpa about our history, I found out where exactly he and my grandma met and it was in a smallll town called, Rungee, Texas, but dude I can totally remember him saying Seguin too, as far as his other relatives. Hmm..

  14. Hmm. What about Eagle Lake? Mama was born there. Any Ybarras (or Ibarra, idk.) or Avalos?

  15. Never heard of Eagle Lake or any of those last names in our family. I'd have to ask my gramps again.

  16. So sweet. Parts of this remind me of my grandma actually. She refuses to drive and still only speaks Spanish. She laughs at me when she tries to tell me something and I have that blank "ummm....?" look on my face. Hahha :)I'm so glad you got to visit and love these old pictures. I feel like with pictures the older they are the more meaningful/special they become. Beautiful post Roni!

    1. Natty,
      Thank you, love. :)
      And I seriously laughed out loud, because I can SO picture your "ummmm" look! HAHA I've seen it plenty of times! (As I'm sure you've seen mine - Steph definitely never lets me live down my "duh" faces!) I hope that when I visit you in AZ one of these days I get to meet your grandma. I'm sure my Spanish will come back full throttle being around a fluent spanish speaker. That'd be fun! Then me and your grandma can make fun of you! ;))) I kidd, I kidd.
      Love you, Natty ♥


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