Sunday, May 3, 2009

Remember When

Yesterday my dear friend and God Mother Maria died. I was getting ready to go to visit her in her home when my phone rang... It was her son calling to tell me the sad news. I tried to keep my voice steady and to listen to the words he was saying...but I felt like I was in a tunnel... Maria is gone... I am too late... this kept repeating in my mind... His voice was shaky and he said he will call later..
I went to the couch and curled in a little ball and cried.... Cried tears of sadness and tears of guilt for not calling her more often.. not visiting her like I should have..all the I should haves and could haves just going through my head...Then I went to my computer and read this from her son:
I am so sorry to inform all of our dear friends that mom passed away minutes ago, surrounded by dad and the rest of her immediate family. She didn't suffer and she left with love and dignity. She asked me a few days ago to tell everyone that at the moment of her passing I should tell you all to be strong, that life goes on, and that she loves all of you dearly. More to follow later.
Maria knew we all loved her and in her beautiful grace and dignity she once again wanted to comfort those that loved her and who she loved..Always thinking of others as was her way.
Later yesterday afternoon her son called me again... He said that his family would like us to come over and mourn and love together. So we hopped in the car - my husband, Dusty and our two girls.. on the way we picked up my mom.. We arrived at the home of Maria and her husband. Their five sons, many grandchildren, and an assortment of other family members were there to greet us with a hug and a kiss. I have no idea what I said or how I said it... I was just so sad... Everyone was sad... They know that their mother is no longer suffering in pain. She is cancer free and in her perfect body rejoicing with her Father in Heaven... The tremendous faith of this family is an awesome thing to see. The family's love and kindness was just so overwhelming.
When I walked into the home I was told that Maria was still there in her room overlooking her beloved garden and I was asked if I wanted to see her and say my final goodbye. I did.. She was a sleeping angel and I went to her, kissed her on the forehead and told her I loved her and that I will miss her but I will see her again and I will give her a kiss and a hug as we always do...
Later I went into the backyard where all the sons and their families were reminiscing about the olden days.... this wonderful family had moved into a duplex on the other side of my home when I was a three year old child. They had just come to America from Guatemala.. We were their first American friends and the bond of friendship became stronger than you can imagine.
Maria having five sons.. she "adopted" me as her little girl... She would always call me her baby...and I was. With a love so strong - she made everyone feel that they were the most important person in the world.. That was one of her special gifts. She and her husband Carlos came to America with almost nothing but managed to raise five successful sons: An architect, A airplane pilot, a doctor, and two very successful businessmen... They created a home filled with love and happiness - where everyone wanted to stay....
This week will be a very difficult week.. tomorrow the viewing and Tuesday the Rosary service and later followed by the release of ashes... all we will have left will be the special memories of a lady who loved without reservation and passed the loving quality to her sons.. and her grandchildren....and there will be a lot of "Remember Whens"...


  1. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

    Praying for you this week.

  2. I'm sorry for your loss but rejoicing with Maria in her new life! Praying for joy in the memories along with the tears.

  3. That was a beautiful eulogy, Kelly. Thank you for sharing it. I'm sure that Maria and her family would love the things you had to say. We have so many fond memories of the Ovalles' from when we were children in Avalon Village - I especially remember you and Johnny playing together as toddlers with Maria watching over you. She was such a loving mother and friend to all of us. We can all only hope and pray that when we leave this world, we too leave a legacy of love and wonderful memories for our children, grandchildren and friends.

  4. Kelly, thank you for the beautiful note. I will make sure my brothers read it. It was really nice for you, your husband, your daughters and your mom to visit us on Saturday, it really meant a lot to us. We know you were there in representation of your sisters as well; we love you all. We are still grieving but we are also celebrating, as was mom's wish, her accomplishments and her good life.

  5. Thank you for this. I definitely need to reach out more.



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