Her name is Hortensia Rivera Rodriguez. She was born in a small town in Puerto Rico, Yabucoa, on December 20, 1910.
Her own mother passed away when Hortensia was nine years old. She was raised by her godmother, a common custom in the Island at the time. As I grew up I remember stories about how my mother grew up. It didn’t sound like easy circumstances. She had a hard time.
In spite of that, she went to school and completed college and became a teacher. This was a big accomplishment in her time.
In the early 1930s, she traveled to New York City, where she met my Dad and were married in 1934. Then she became Hortensia Rexach.
My Mother was pregnant seven times. She had her first born, Pepito – my brother – had two other sons – Luisito and Jaime Luis – and also had me. She suffered three miscarriages and in the end only had my older brother and myself to raise.
She stopped teaching when I was born and she became a full time mother. She was an accomplished seamstress.
She also was an exceptionally active member of the Catholic Church in which my brother and I grew up.
As time went by and she aged, she slowly deteriorated and “lost” herself in the effects of this well know neurological degenerative disease called Alzheimer’s.
She took care of me as a child, protected me as much as she could and, as time would have it, I had to do the same during the last ten years of her life.
She passed away on November 9, 1999.
To my Mom …… in spite of it all, you gave life to me. You took care of me as best as you could.
It’s hard to express the feelings you have after the loss of your Mom.
So I’m borrowing someone else’s words that say it very well. I hope Kathy J. Parenteau doesn’t mind.
My Mother My Angel
© Kathy J Parenteau
Once upon a time an angel held my hand,
She wiped away my tears and helped me understand.
Our time on earth is brief, there’s lessons to be learned,
Each precious day God gives us another page is turned.
Every chapter full of memories, times of joy and tears,
Triumphs and defeats, through every passing year.
She loved us unconditional, always by our side,
When no one else would listen, in her we could confide.
With gentle words of wisdom she led us on our way,
Down the paths of righteousness if ever we did stray.
She saw the light in everyone and gave with no regrets,
Always from her heart let’s us not forget.
Angels come in many forms, for me it is my mother,
With love I cannot say in words there’ll never be another.
Every day I turn the page in my heart will ever remain,
Everything she taught me as I stroll down memory lane.
Thank you God for giving me the most priceless of all treasures,
Help my Lord to keep alive her memory here forever.
I pray that I can some day be everything she hoped I would,
That’s she smiling down from heaven knowing she did good.
As we gather here today there’s no ending to her story,
Another chapter has begun full of grace and glory.
Gods called her to his heavenly home, part of his great plan,
Although it may be hard, we all must understand.
Faith is what is hoped for, things we cannot see,
Heaven is promised to all of us if only we believe.
Source: My Mother My Angel, Mother Death Poem http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/my-mother-my-angel-2#ixzz2T22aehEM
We ALL are ONE!!