Such a little word that means so much. I look at my amazingly beautiful baby girl & see a little LIFE that is a representation of so many other lives. She is the next generation that will carry on the lives of Dave, myself & all those before us.
For Memorial Day weekend we drove up to Klamath Falls to remember & say goodbye to my Abuelito. Even though he never got the chance to meet my Isabel I know that he loved her dearly. I got to talk to him on the phone the week Isabel was born & told him that her name is Isabel. "De mi Isabel?!" Was his tickled response. He thought it was so cool that she was named after my Abuelita. The next thing he asked was why I didn't name her after him! :-)
The weekend was full of family, tears, funny stories & singing around a bon-fire snuggled by my Abuelito's jackets. Building fires was one of my Abuelio's specialties. His secret ingredient: diesel fuel! Even though he wouldn't have known any of the songs he would have loved seeing us all together.
It was so wonderful to see La Casa Perez fill of LIFE. Amazing food (posole, another one of my Abuelio's specialties), little kids running around, fire wood being chopped & a pick-up game of basketball.
It was reminicent of the days when both my Abuelitio & Abueltia filled the house with LIFE & love. But that is the thing about LIFE. The love that makes up LIFE never dies. Even though my precious abuelitos are gone, the love that they brought to this world lives on in the LIFE that they have given to us.
Every time I visit my Abuelito's house, one of the first things I do is visit my Abuelita's room. Her bedside table contains a photo of her, a vanilla candle (her favortite scent) & a framed letter that I wrote to her telling her of all the gifts she has given me. The first gift that I thanked her for was the gift of LIFE. I read this letter to myself in Spanish as I sit on her little stool beside her bed - just like I used to do when she was alive. The first time I brought Dave to the house I told him about the letter & my Abuelita's LIFE amidst tears. It was then that he said, "I think the name of our firstborn daughter should be Isabel".
On this Memorial Day weekend we also visited the resting place of my grandparents, Norman & Geanne Fraley. Just like my Isabel will never get to meet her Great Abuelito, so I never got to meet my Grandpa. This photo memorializes 4 generations & 100 years of Fraley LIFE as my Grandpa Fraley was born in 1911.
Alice & J. Fred Goeller. The grandparents of my Grandma. My little Isabel comes from pioneer genes. Both sides of my family coragiously took great risks to give their children a better LIFE.
Isabel got to meet her great-great Aunt Addie. This wonderful woman is a living historian of our family's genealogy, and a WWII veteran who served in the Navy.
Strength, stubbornness, faithfulness, courage, generosity, compassion, joy & above all love; This is the LIFE that has been passed on to me, & the LIFE that I want to pass on to the next generation.