Saturday, October 8, 2011

# 39 spanish 101: tio y tia

time was when spanish was compulsory in college.  spanish influence is obvious and unmistakable in our language.  puedo entender un poco.  gracias, google translator.

theirs was a big family. five brothers, five sisters. tio and tia, we call them. uncle and aunt.  legends, we call them, too.  mama was # 6.  she has been gone for nine years now. cancer. eight months were all we had. she fought but lost the battle.   just 2 brothers and 2 sisters now.  growing up, tios and tias were accorded respect.  they were elders; mingling with them was improper. we kept distance. they were uncles and aunts, after all.  with the years creeping up fast on the third generation folks (that is us), the gap has been bridged.  respect is there for that is a constant but the bond is stronger now.  an element of friendship makes it so.

74, 82, 68
 that is not a typo.  got their ages right!  i say that with all the unconcealed pride in my heart.  this picture, taken over a month ago, unveils our extraordinary lineage.

it  would seem like they have found the fountain of youth for how else can they look so young yet share 224 years among them. an equally youthful 72-year old tio was not able to attend this special occasion. they are blessed with that gene that allows them to look younger than their chronological age.  fortunately, they have graciously passed that gene on to us. the whole clan unanimously & shamelessly agrees to that.  any objection overruled.

mamam joins the tias and tio in a picture taken almost twenty years ago.  oceans kept them apart back then.  they relished any chance they could be together.  it gave them reason to celebrate. 

the hardest part of not having mamam around anymore is not being able to feel the warmth of her hug. hugging tia is like being in mamam's arms again. 

gugud gave this memento that says it all.  nowadays, kids think aunts and uncles are peers. they would ask an aunt to give them a massage. unheard of and totally unacceptable in our time.  they think it is cool that they can do that now.

ours is a big clan.  the family tree continues to grow, its branches diverging with every extension.  the fifth generation twigs and sprigs that are starting to sprout will most likely not know the family's remaining legends, much less the other six.   they will have to content themselves with our stories and pictures.  if they have the time to listen to old stories and look at old pictures.  

there is nothing like knowing the tios and tias as we do now.  isn't that awesome?


  1. Across the miles I have come to understand the interworkings of such a larage family. Based on what I have learned, I am impressed with the relationships and feel blessed to know such a family. Yes, that is awesome!

  2. YEAH MAN!!!!!! My auntie made this :)
    So touching