Saturday, January 28, 2012

Memories of my Great Grandma

Stories and memories live in our memory. When there's no one to remember them, they just die. And it is as if they have never existed. On my last vacation trip, I cried a lot. I cried when visiting cemeteries in search of my husband's ancestors. I cried to see all kinds of tombstones - old, young, children, infants... I cried to think how many lives that were lived and shared are now lost in a hyphen. That hyphen that comes between the birth date and the death date. So much was done during that hyphen. And now who cares about it? So many of those tombstones were swallowed by the tall grass and the moss. No one even knows they are there, neither do they know who was laid there. I cried when I realized that this is the fate of us all: a tombstone. Abandoned. Without anyone to imagine what went on during that infamous hyphen. A life. A life in which we've rejoiced and wept. A life that was so intense while it existed, and now it's forever gone. The Bible makes it clear that we came to this world with nothing and take nothing from it. So what counts? What counts is what we leave behind. Because if not we leave nothing to no one, all that's left of our existence is that hyphen. I want all of my family to know that the tombstone that lies in a cemetery in Feira de Santana brings much more than just a hyphen. The lady whose name is written there did much during her life and touched many. That lady is my Great Grandmother, my Bisa. I don't want anyone to ever forget her. That is why I wrote a book about her life to pass it down to our family.

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