Rebecca G. Aguilar | Writer


My Mother, Remembered

Posted by Rebecca G. Aguilar, M.Ed. on March 8, 2015


The Spanish word recuerdo, which means remembered, is related to the word corazón, which means heart. Family, relatives and friends from El Paso, Las Cruces, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, La Porte, Highlands and Bryan came to remember my Mother when she was laid to rest last week. As each took their turn to console us, a common refrain in both English and Spanish went something like this:

“Hold your Mother in your heart and remember her always.”

Recalling some of the things that made her life remarkable, I shared at the Rosary how my Mother succeeded at the challenge of making every one of her six children feel special.

As for me, I had a zigzagging mind. Jumpy and unsettled and unsure; bouncing from one thing to another. My Mother had that way that mothers have of knowing what drives their children… what makes them who they are.

She also knew what I would need to become a functional human being. She knew I would need access to a library.

Libraries were not just for me. When we were not in school, she would load us all into the Oldsmobile. We’d take a drive to the Stratford Public Library in Highlands or the Sterling Municipal Library in Baytown.

The library had shelves of books for each one of us. A shelf for books about poetry for Rita. A shelf for books about art and design for Ana. A shelf for books about planes and cars for Fernie. A shelf for books about drama and plays for Liz. A shelf for books about Ramona Quinby for Esmeralda.

And for me… I planted myself on the blue carpet in front of Dewey Decimal 398.2 where all the books on folklore were shelved. I’d pull something from the Dolch Folklore of the World series… Stories from Japan, Stories from Africa, Stories from Germany… there were even Stories from Hawaii.

An all-time favorite was Stories of the Arabian Nights.

Mom claimed to have learned English words listening to her children read-aloud from their library books.

What I know for certain is that reading aloud helped my zigzagging mind… focus. When the reading aloud finally quieted to an inside voice… I developed an imagination and an inner life with a brain, not quite the sharpest in the bunch, but one that had a bent for words.

I’d read aloud for my Mother… maybe a little too loudly… from Stories of the Arabian Nights, sometimes stopping to make sure she was listening. She’d look up from all the myriad things that mothers must do to keep up a chaotic house with six children. She’d give me a wonderful nod and blink to reassure me that she was listening. And I would feel reassured… that I could keep reading… that I could keep going.

I hold my Mother in my heart and will remember her always.


Category: Remembrance, Libraries

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