Tag Archives: Celebration

Mexican Mother’s Day

My mother – Barbara Zuniga – pregnant with me. I think this photo was taken late 1958 or very early 1959.

Today is Mother’s Day…in Mexico!  It’s always on May 10th, unlike in the US where it falls on the 2nd Sunday in May.  Living in the states…we have always celebrated Mother’s Day on the 2nd Sunday but this year I was aware of more posts than usual from my Mexican friends on social media.

It made me think about Mother’s day celebrations in Mexico, so I did a little googling this afternoon to see what I could find out about Mexico’s celebration.  In truth, it’s much identical to the US celebration – children honor their mothers with gifts of flowers and food on this day, much like we will do on Sunday here in the US.  Restaurant reservations are at an all time high – just like here.  Looking back on the origins of the day are rather interesting though.

In 1922 the idea of having Mother’s Day in Mexico was brought into the country from the US with mixed reviews.  However, it is said that the government, media and Catholic Church got involved and set the date as May 10.  In 1940, the wife of Mexico’s President Manuel Avilla Camacho declared May 10th a holiday and made it a state sponsored celebration.  An interesting custom emerged from this too from the government.  Disadvantaged women were invited to stores to pick a free gift.  In 1942, the government did something even more interesting.  They returned the sewing machines to women who had pawned them and then were unable to repay the loans.  This cost the pawn market approximately $160,000!  It was seen as a great gift though since these women used the sewing machines to help provide for their families.  This was reported in Time Magazine.

The box of photos my sister and I went through last fall at her home in North Carolina – many of these photos I had never seen before. I believe the box belonged to my late Aunt Gail – my mother’s sister.

Today though…I’m thinking of my mother and the life she has lived.  I’ll do this again on Sunday when we have lunch together, but today I’m getting a head start if you will.  When I visited my sister, Kanista, last year in North Carolina, she pulled out a box of old pictures to go through together.  There were several photos I had never seen before.  One in particular was of mom at an event in Cambodia – pregnant with me.  She had on a cute two piece maternity outfit with her hair pulled back and wore cute little sandals.  There were people dancing in the background having a good time.  I know my dad took this photo of her.  She’s smiling and looking off  into the distance.  I wish I knew exactly how far along she was in this photo…how soon I would make my appearance.

People always tell me I look like my mother…it’s such a compliment because when I look at photos like this, she is just so beautiful to me.  Still is…  Feliz día de las Madres!

Me and Mom – Mother’s day last year – 2016

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Once Upon a Time…35 Years Ago…We Met

Nov 2014 - celebrating the anniversary of the night we met!

Nov 2014 – celebrating the anniversary of the night we met!

It was Veterans Day eve and I had UAB Chamber Choir rehearsal that night.  I remember all my friends from work were heading out to a “happy hour” and I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t going with them.  But the Chamber Choir was getting ready for a performance and I knew I couldn’t miss rehearsal so…

A friend of mine said she would go later if I felt like it.  So after rehearsal, I called her and we both got ready and headed to the happy hour.  It was close to 10 p.m. and I thought there wouldn’t be anyone there.  Turns out Mr. Right was there!  And the party was just getting started!

Our big group danced and sang along with the band for the rest of the night.  The band kept asking for requests and I kept asking them to play “Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon to no avail.  (I still do this when I’m out and I’ve yet to have anyone play it for me!)  Eddie and I kept drifting toward one another when we were all dancing together and eventually we ended up dancing together.  We had both been noticing each other at work and he told me later he’d had a secret crush on me when he’d see me at the office.  I confessed the same to him.

This was our 30th "first" - 2011 and we were headed to Flemings that year for dinner.

This was our 30th “first” – 2011 and we were headed to Flemings that year for dinner.

Veterans Day eve became our “first” anniversary – the anniversary of the night we met and we’ve been celebrating it every year since.  When the kids were little we’d have dinner at home and play up about the night we met.  As they got older, we started going out to celebrate and reminisce about meeting and when we dated.  It’s fun to keep those stories alive and even more interesting when new details emerge!

Two years ago we went to Firebirds for dinner.  I don’t know if it was the way we were talking or what, but the server asked if we were celebrating something special.  We said, “yes, the anniversary of the night we met 33 years ago.”  She thought that was the coolest thing ever and by the end of the meal, she brought out a fabulous dessert on the house along with a card addressed “To the sweet couple!” When we opened it, the entire staff had signed the card!

Tonight we will continue the tradition of celebrating our “first” anniversary.  If there is a band wherever we go I’ll yell out “Werewolves of London” as a song request.  Meanwhile, I’m so thankful that I decided to go to that “happy hour” on that night 35 years ago.  I can’t imagine my life without this wonderful man in it!

Happy “first” anniversary, sweetheart!

Día de los Muertos…Birmingham style!

IMG_7508Sunday was Día de los Muertos – Day of the Dead – and Birmingham celebrated in a big way!  Barehandsinc.org has been preparing for this 12th celebration all year-long and I do believe this was probably their best year ever!

Eddie and I arrived a little before 4 p.m. (when the gates opened) and normally we pay our $10 and get right in.  Not this year…we waited almost 20 minutes to get in this year!  Not a bad thing for the event, mind you!

Once we got in, the courtyard – which is generally rather empty – was already quite crowded.  I started at one end of the big brick wall and began making my way down the wall taking pictures and just taking it all in.  There were many more public altars this year.  And there was a huge tribute to Mexican Artists.  It would have taken me all night to read all those names…it was simply beautiful.

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I remarked to Eddie how there were hardly any people there that we knew.  Again, not a bad thing…it was great seeing lots of new faces.  it’s a wonderful thing for a festival!  We eventually ran into quite a few friends.  Eddie captured it with a photo of the group – then a man walked right in front of us, oblivious to us all standing there posing for the camera – and Eddie captured the aftermath…all of us laughing hysterically!  Love that photo and all those friends!

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Got to see my sweet friend, Cristina Almanza at DOD this year!

I didn’t get to see festival founders Wendy Jarvis nor Tracy Martin this year…but I know they were beaming at the turnout and at the success of this year’s event.  So many people remembered and celebrated.  And that’s what the event is all about.

I’ve seen so many photos of the event on Facebook this past week.  Here are a few of mine to add to the mix…

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My friend Miguel with his sweet daughter Gabriella…she was mesmerized by the mariachi playing at the altars.

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