My grandma passed away in May. I was lucky to have her for as long as I did. I have only the best memories of my little grandma. She was a hard working, family-loving lady. I regret that I've never had enough Spanish to really, really talk to her but I know her in my heart.
I struggled taking pictures at such a sad time, feeling they were somehow inappropriate, but others were taking pictures for remembrance too. I took pictures for my sisters and Mom. I thought they'd take some comfort in seeing the beautiful arrangements at the visitation, the rosary, the funeral, and then at the gravesite.
My cousin Ellie brought this arrangement.
My Mom posed for this picture with my Grandpa Ruben Gutierrez and my cousin Michele Gutierrez Ortiz. This was right after the rosary service. My Grandpa is now 105! The family arranged for him to come to the church from the old people's home. He slept through the rosary but we could tell he knew where he was. (He's deaf and can barely see.)
My Grandma rests under a beautiful tree. It will be prettier when the grass is green again. They are in a severe drought. My other cousin Linda (and maybe her sister Angie) brought two of the biggest, most beautiful white roses arrangements. They said that Grandma once told them that when it is her time she wants white roses everywhere.
The personal touches throughout the services- prayer cards, handmade crochet crosses (Linda), and handmade beaded rosaries (Angie).
My Grandma loved to crochet. She taught Linda but she also made all of the grandkids crochet bordered tea towels over the years. I don't remember when I was given mine, or when she made them, but I have them.
And the rosary! I can remember saying the rosary so many times at their Soledad home. I didn't appreciate it as a kid, and I was a bit lost at the rosary service that week (it was in Spanish), but there was something strangely comforting in hearing everyone else recite the prayers.
My cousins also put together a luncheon after the funeral service. Again, so many thoughtful touches. Photo collages, framed photos at each lunch table, a Tres Leches cake with her beloved roses, a slideshow put to music, and many kind, lovely things to say about our Grandma.
Dinner that night on the Santa Barbara pier. Mountains, ocean, perfect weather.
In the distance you can see a huge navy ship. 5000 soldiers had recently docked in Santa Barbara. The area was hoppin'!
The next morning we went out to breakfast (with my Uncle Juan) and then decided to stop at the Santa Barbara Mission. It's such a beautiful place. And so old!
They recently had an art contest. These chalk drawings were amazing!
And before the SB airport we stopped to say goodbye to Grandma. We ran into my Uncle Ruben and his wife Alva, doing the same thing.
Our little plane to our Los Angeles transfer.
The Reyes girls with their beautiful Grandma.