Dos Voces, Un Destino: La Señora Contenta

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Para celebra el Día De las Madres le queremos contar un poco de la historia de nuestra mama.

Nuestra mamá nació en Chiltiupan, un pueblito en las montañas del Puerto De La Liberta. Nuestros abuelitos tenían una tienda y terrenos de agricultura. Mama Coro, nuestra abuela, se encargaba en el trabajo de la tienda y Papa Chuz en atender la finca y el ganado. Mamá es la hija menor de una familia de 13 hijos. Como la niña de la casa mamá se crio diferente a sus hermanas. Sus hermanas tenían que ayudar con el trabajo de la casa. Cuidando los hermanos menores, haciendo pan, queso, o bordando para vender. Nuestras tías nos cuentan de los pañuelitos que bordaban con corazones para vender en los bailes del pueblo. El oficio de mamá erra el trabajo de la tienda, atendiendo los clientes. A mamá le gustaba que la tienda estuviera alegre con música y cuando no habían clientes se ponía a pintar sus uñas.

La cultura Latina es dominada por el hombre, más en los tiempos cuando mamá se crió. Sus hermanos, todos fueron educados terminando sus estudios en la Universidad. Al contrario las hembra solo fueron a la escuela primaria o secundaria. Cuando Papa Chuz murió, a sus hijas no les dejo herencia. Sus pensamientos erran que a sus hijas, su esposo las tenían que mantener pero a sus hijos ellos tenía que mantener su familia. Gracias a Dios por su misma voluntad y por ser trabajadoras las hijas todas han salido adelante.

Irma y Victorino, 1963

Irma y Victorino, 1963

Cuando mamá se vino para Los Estados Unidos a reunirse con Papá era el año 1959. Sus hermanos le suplicaron que lo pensara bien lo que estaba haciendo, en Los Estados Unidos iba a tener que trabajar. El primer trabajo que encontró Mamá era en Los Angeles en una fábrica de sándwiches. Para trabajar allí mamá se tuvo que cortar sus uñas y lloro. Mamá tenía una cárstica fuerte, siempre diciendo “Que no hay que darle el brazo a torcer.” Entre poco tiempo mamá y papá se movieron a San Francisco donde encontraron trabajo en una laundry. Mamá es económica y en 1963 había ahorrado dinero para dar de entre en una casa. Ellos compraron una casita en Sur San Francisco donde nos creamos.

Los recuerdos de nuestra niñez son de una casa con bastante orden. Mamá nos sacaba la ropa de escuela la noche anterior. Todos los viernes salíamos un restaurante a cenar. Los Sábados erra el día de limpiar casa, y los domingos el Día de familia. Los domingos íbamos a misa y después al parque, playa, zoológico, museo, o a visitar familia. Cuando mamá necesitaba ropa especial para una fiesta íbamos a las tiendas en el centro de San Francisco y al regreso pasábamos por La Misión a comprar pan dulce, queso, y plátanos.

Mamá nos ha dejado con una recesa de experiencias y memorias. Abajo van a encontrar los sentimientos de sus nietos e hijas:

Mi recuerdo manejando sobre el puente en el carro de mi abuelita. Mi hermana Major y yo nos sentábamos en el asiento de atrás en su Volks Wagon anaranjado. Inventábamos canciones y nos poníamos a cantar. Tengo esos momentos recordados vividos en mi memoria. -Jenina

Me hace falta que mamá Irma no me recuerda como su nieta Major pero encanto que se recuerda de mi como niña . . . Ella se ha olvidado de Melissa pero recuerda Mishi. -Melissa

Una de mis más favoritas memorias es de Mamá Irma cuando yo estaba en La escuela secundaria. Mamá Irma venía a visitar de El Salvador pasando unos meses en nuestra casa. Un cosa que siempre cocinaba erra pastelitos. Me encantaba cuando yo salía de la escuela y me tenía un plato de pastelitos esperándome. Me traía mucha alegría y por qué me gustaban tanto le traía alegría a ella también. 😉 -Tobias

Una cosa que siempre he admirado de mi mamá es su habilidad de perdonar y olvidar las cosas. Mamá nunca guarda rencor. Es una calidad muy importante de tener. -Silvia

La Señora Contenta

La Señora Contenta

Algo que paso recién me recordó de la cárstica y el espirito de vida que todavía vive en mi mamá. Estábamos en la vanidad lavando sus manos. Mi mamá levanto su cara y vio una señora sonriéndose, era su reflejo en el espejo. Mamá empezó a platicar con la señora y le dijo, “Usted está siempre contenta. Me gusta la gente contenta, no es.” Mi mamá le demostró una cara enojada y se puso a reír. Mi mamá dio vuelta para donde yo estaba y me conto que esa señora siempre está contenta, le dije que no me gusta la gente brava. Demostrando me la cara que le dio. Nos pusimos a reír. Le responde, “Si mamá, la señora es muy simpática y tiene una sonrisa bonita. Diga le adiós y que la va ver otro día.” La tome de mano y salinos para la sala. Mis recuerdos son de su sonrisa. -Linda

The Happy Lady

With Mother’s Day this past weekend we wanted to share some of Mom’s story with you.

Mom grew up a merchant’s daughter in a small village at the summit of the Salvadorian Coastal Mountain range. The village is named Chiltiupan. Her parents owned a general store and farmland. Our grandmother, Mama Coro ran the store, while Papa Chus, our grandfather, focused his time in running the family’s agricultural land. Mom was the youngest girl in a family of 13. As the baby girl her life was different than that of her sisters. Her sisters had to help cook and make things to sell in the store; bread, cheese, or do embroidery work. Her sisters still talk about embroidering handkerchiefs which they would sell at the town dances. Mom on the other had worked in the store helping with customers. Mom would play music in the store in order to create an uplifting atmosphere and learned the value of engaging customers in conversation. When business was slow mom would polish her finger nails.

In Latin families there is a strong male dominate environment. During the time of mom’s up bringing this culture was even greater, for example: My uncles, the boys of the family, received an education. They all went on to earn University Degrees. The girls, my aunts, received only grade school education. When Papa Chuz, passed away he left inheritance only to his sons. His thought process was his sons would need to provide for their wife’s where as his daughter husband’s needed to provide for them. He left nothing for his six girls. With God’s grace the girls were all successful.

Irma and Victorino, 1963

Irma and Victorino, 1963

Mom came to the States to join dad in 1959. Her brothers encouraged her to reconsider her decision. Her life in the States was going to be different; she would have to physically work. Mom’s first job was at a sandwich factory in Los Angeles, where she learned she had to cut her finely polished nails in order to gain employment. Mom mourned the loss of her finger nails but was determined to not give in to her brothers concerns. Mom has a strong will. Soon afterwards my mom and dad moved to San Francisco where they worked in a laundry. Mom was the saver in the family. By 1963, she had saved enough money to place a down payment on a house; a Cape Cod style home with a white picket fence in South San Francisco. This became the home in which we all grew up.

The things I remember most about growing up was a house with order. Mom would lay out our clothes the night before for school. We had dinner out every Friday night – my parents’ treat for a week of hard work. There were two restaurants which we regularly frequented: Luigi’s (for spaghetti) and Ponderosa (for steaks). Saturday was for house cleaning. My dad focused on the yard work and my mom on the inside of the house. Although, dad did share in many of the household responsibilities during the week. Dad was a better cook than my mom, teaching her how to cook. Sundays was family day. We went to church followed by a day at the beach, Golden Gate Park, the Zoo a Museum or visiting aunts/uncles. The only change to our routine was if mom was looking for a special outfit. We would to downtown San Francisco, Market Street, and go shopping. On our way home, we would always make a stop in the Mission District for pan dulce, cheese and plantains.

Mom has left us with many rich experiences and memories. Below you’ll find sentiments from grandchildren and daughters:

I remember driving in my grandmother’s car across the bridge. Me and my older sister would sit in the back of her orange VW bug and make up songs since she didn’t have a radio. Those memories & songs I still remember vividly. -Jenina

I miss that Mama Irma doesn’t recognize me anymore as her grown granddaughter but love the fact she remembers me as a little girl. She had forgotten Melissa but remembers Mishi. -Melissa

One of my favorite past time memories of Mama Irma was when I was in high school. Mama Irma would be visiting from El Salvador for a couple months out of the year. The one thing she would always make where her pasteles. I loved coming home and there would be a plate waiting for me. They put a smile on my face, and because I loved them so much it always put a smile on her face too. 😉 -Tobias

One thing that I have always admired about my mother is her ability to forgive and forget and not hold a grudge that a good attribute to have. -Silvia

The Happy Lady

The Happy Lady

A recent incident spoke to me of mom’s character and the spirit which lives loudly within her. We were at the vanity washing her hands. Mom looked up and saw a woman looking at her, the reflection in the mirror. Mom began speaking to the woman which was smiling back at her. Mom spoke to the woman in her broken English, “I like you. You’re always happy. You no.” Mom puckered up her lips and puffed up her cheeks in a demonstration of anger and began to laugh. The woman laughed with her. Mom turned toward me and said, “I told the lady she is always happy. She’s not one of those people who are always angry.” She showed me the face she had made to convey grumpiness, puckering up her lips and puffing out her cheeks. We both laughed out loud. I responded, “Mom, she is a happy lady and does have a beautiful smile.” Tell her we’ll come back and see her later. My mom said goodbye to the lady in the mirror and we walked hand in hand to the living room. My memories are of my mother’s smile. -Linda

1 Response

  1. Ann Mullen says:

    Keep working on those memories. They will be of great worth to your children and grandchildren. Muchas gracias por permitido nuestros sus buenas memorias. Por favor excuse mi pobre espanol. No uso lo mucho.

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