Today, we are setting up the Dia de Muertos offering table to honor our Granpa Lee and Tio Toño, both of whom my son is named after. I explained the tradition to him this morning, and he thought it would be a great idea to celebrate. We haven't in the past, but I was deeply inspired by our guest speaker, Cesareo Moreno, who framed the festivities as a celebration of life. (The picture on the side is from when I was pregnant with my daughter; our Dickens has since then gone to the Rainbow Bridge. We miss you!)
Below is a sample ofrenda my friend Laura Garcia created yesterday (which is technically the day we honor our departed children). She is coming to speak today at our campus event on Chicana experiences.
Laura Garcia, author of Teatro Chicana, and her amazing ofrenda table.
Yesterday, we also celebrated Halloween. We actually hit two neighborhoods, one on the North Side and our hood, which we normally don't do. We walked around so much, we didn't give away any candy, except for the three kids we chased down the sidewalk. Our neighborhood was pretty quiet, so we got fistfuls of candy from our neighbors. I was so exhausted afterwards, I couldn't speak anymore.
There was some drama, however, when my son peed his pants. We were actually at a port-a-potty in a dark alley, which was a rare find, but he didn't make it. And who was the villain?: Mom. Boy, did I pay for that! He was so furious, he didn't want me to go with him anymore, and we had to leave.
I will say about this neighborhood on the North Side, that it felt like when I used to trick-or-treat. There were so many kids running around and dressed up grown-ups with treats in their beer cups. It was great!
All in all, it was a fantastic experience! The drama made it even more special (yeah right) or memorable to say the least.
Here's to honoring our dead and celebrating with loved ones. Have a wonderful Dia de Muertos, and if you can't set up a table with offerings, tell wonderful stories about your deceased relatives.
Dr. Jesú Estrada,