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Message 1 of 7
In Response to MER-Memories... continued 12/15/2008:


My grandmother’s name was
Victoria, but we called her by her grandchildren’s (us) given
nickname “Mama Toya” (pronounced mamma Toy-ah) We knew
that she wasn’t our mother but she was MOM to us. Later my own
children, who were also blessed by her love and care when I divorced
their dad, would also call her “Mama Toya.” Three
generations -- one mom, one pillar, one rock, one anchor.
 



Funny too, now that my daughters
are in their forties, with kids of their own, and my son is almost
there (39), single dad with a son, they too remember her with the
same love and nostalgia that I feel. There will never, ever be
another “Mama Toya” like her in the whole wide world --
to us. She is the only grandma I knew. My paternal grandparents had
died when we were little and given that my mother would not stay
close to “that” family (those were the days), we did not
get to know them. So that was our little world.


 



1950.

I was enrolled in a Catholic
kindergarten. Back then, school began on January 7th,
right after little Christmas (Día de los Reyes). One of the
most celebrated holidays, and the most celebrated for children.

Mexico
was/is mostly Catholic and there
was no “Santa Claus” in those days and/or we did NOT
know because we did not have a television set. We lived a
simple and sheltered life.


 


Mother worked, first, in the retail
sector, downtown

Mexico City
. She was keeping books for
businesses which were owned mostly by the Jewish community. She felt
very comfortable there. She knew that she had come from Jewish
roots. Her grandmother was Spanish/Catholic. She
and mom´s grandfather married even though he
was Jewish (I don’t really know the whole story -- I am
still working on that). He was cast out of the family. But together
and in love, they went to

Veracruz
,
Mexico
in 1896 where he made a living as
an Importer/Exporter until his death. I don’t know where or
how he died. Grandmother was just eight or nine when he passed.


 


Although mom did not discuss this
openly in those days, she knew it. The Jewish community was, to say
the least, extremely supportive of a young, divorced mother of two.
She loved them and they loved her. They were family; they gave her
every opportunity to better herself. After work, she ventured
back into school to become an accountant and to acquire a better job
to support us.


 


She went to work at Seven-Up
bottling company, MABE, a kitchen appliance manufacturer where she
was promoted twice in three years. Her last job before retiring the
first time was at “Cementos Tolteca,” an English company
with branches in

Mexico
and, I am sure, other parts of the
world. There she worked for the next 25 years and became (I was
told) the first woman Comptroller of one of the largest companies in

Mexico City
at the time.

 


Mom was highly respected,
chauffeured around, lived well in high society circles and had an
incredible business and social life. Her hobbies were reading and
writing. She became a celebrated Orator in her later years. I am
sure mother could have written her own memoirs. But this is my story
and I am sticking to it…


 


I don’t remember much more
detail during that time, but it must have been a happy one. Mom went
to work, then went to school, came home, read, slept, and studied;
then she read, studied, and slept some more. I remember that she
slept a lot. On weekends, “Mama Toya” would take us out
so mom could sleep and rest. We did not understand why we never saw
her but we knew she was there because grandmother would always ask
us to be considerate of her because she worked very hard to give us
a better life. Her bedroom door was always closed. It was her haven
and we were to respect it, not disturb it, or disturb her.


 


She would always have
“comida” (dinner) with us every day around

2:00 p.m.
This meal is the main meal time in
Mexico
. It is also when the family not
only eats, but everyone shares their day. It can last up to two
hours, time permitting. Then she would go back to work and school.
We did not see her in the morning as she left before we were woken
up to go to school.


 



1952.

I was seven. This was another
year, a new home, and a new story. We moved! Mother was doing
extremely well in her career and was earning “top peso”
for her time and age working in

Mexico City
. This time, we went to a better
side of town. With mom’s earnings improving, she could afford
a much better place. The area was/is called “Colonial del
Valle”. I recently went to the very corner where our house
stood and, to my surprise, the house was gone. In its place is an
enormous building. I don’t know if the house was destroyed by
the earthquake of 1985, or if it was demolished to build commercial
property. This house was old but beautiful. It has mystery.


 


That year, mom enrolled us in the
German
School
. One of their Annex schools
happened to be across the street which turned out to be perfect for
grandmother, who at the time, was severly suffering from Rheumatoid
Arthritis.
I was also enrolled in piano and ballet lessons.
Mom had a chauffer from work at her disposal and part of his job was
to take us to the different locations that we needed to go after
school but before picking her up from work in the evening.


 


One day, I came down with a severe
cold. Nobody worried about it except for my ballet teacher who
became very concerned when I could not do a simple “demi
plié.” Mama Toya, who was my permanent chaperone, told
mom that about my ballet teacher’s concern. Mom reacted
immediately and took me to our doctor right away. She had
acquired a family doctor when my brother, who had an accident per
year, had to go to the emergency room from a huge cut around his
ankle and had to be stitched eleven times.


 


I will never forget Dr. Franco. He
was our family doctor for three decades. Even my second husband and
my children were part of the package. He worked at the “Seguro
Social,” one of the medical systems for Mexican workers,
during the day, and had his private practice at night.


 


Dr. Franco knew it too well. He had
seen these symptoms daily for several weeks. He rushed me to
one of the only hospitals where he knew they could handle my
condition. Time was of the essence. We could not wait. I was
having trouble breathing and walking -- and I was certainly
clueless of what I was about to experience.


 

12/15/2008

 

 

Enjoyed the short history of your family and your own beginnings.  Waiting for the next installment to see what ails this talented child!  I hope its not that you are stricken with polio!   I'll be back for more of your captivating life story.  Beautiful writing.

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Message 2 of 7
In Response to post:

Got it! Thank you all for your comments, suggestions, and corrections -- that also means, you are paying attention! LOL.  My OCD mind wants it perfect the first time, but that doesn't happen in writing, does it? I am glad someone is watching out for me, someone is watching, and someone is hooked... Hehehehe.

 HeHeHeHe, I am so glad that you are having so much fun with your words, they are wonderful and yes we are hooked.  Me the one would love words, thank you....RaeDi

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re: MER-Memories... continued 12/15/2008

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Message 3 of 7
In Response to post:

OMG, from the time frame, I'm guessing polio. Your story is facinating--I'm waiting for the next installment


one suggestion: change "she married her grandfather" to "she and grandfather were married"


I think the "she" refers back to your grandmother and the "her" refers to your mother, but the first time I read it I thought you were saying that your mom married her own grandpa for some obscure reason--LOL--boy did I feel silly

Got it! Thank you all for your comments, suggestions, and corrections -- that also means, you are paying attention! LOL.  My OCD mind wants it perfect the first time, but that doesn't happen in writing, does it? I am glad someone is watching out for me, someone is watching, and someone is hooked... Hehehehe.

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re: MER-Memories... continued 12/15/2008

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Message 4 of 7
In Response to MER-Memories... continued 12/15/2008:


My grandmother’s name was
Victoria, but we called her by her grandchildren’s (us) given
nickname “Mama Toya” (pronounced mamma Toy-ah) We knew
that she wasn’t our mother but she was MOM to us. Later my own
children, who were also blessed by her love and care when I divorced
their dad, would also call her “Mama Toya.” Three
generations -- one mom, one pillar, one rock, one anchor.
 



Funny too, now that my daughters
are in their forties, with kids of their own, and my son is almost
there (39), single dad with a son, they too remember her with the
same love and nostalgia that I feel. There will never, ever be
another “Mama Toya” like her in the whole wide world --
to us. She is the only grandma I knew. My paternal grandparents had
died when we were little and given that my mother would not stay
close to “that” family (those were the days), we did not
get to know them. So that was our little world.


 



1950.

I was enrolled in a Catholic
kindergarten. Back then, school began on January 7th,
right after little Christmas (Día de los Reyes). One of the
most celebrated holidays, and the most celebrated for children.

Mexico
was/is mostly Catholic and there
was no “Santa Claus” in those days and/or we did NOT
know because we did not have a television set. We lived a
simple and sheltered life.


 


Mother worked, first, in the retail
sector, downtown

Mexico City
. She was keeping books for
businesses which were owned mostly by the Jewish community. She felt
very comfortable there. She knew that she had come from Jewish
roots. Her grandmother was Spanish/Catholic. She
and mom´s grandfather married even though he
was Jewish (I don’t really know the whole story -- I am
still working on that). He was cast out of the family. But together
and in love, they went to

Veracruz
,
Mexico
in 1896 where he made a living as
an Importer/Exporter until his death. I don’t know where or
how he died. Grandmother was just eight or nine when he passed.


 


Although mom did not discuss this
openly in those days, she knew it. The Jewish community was, to say
the least, extremely supportive of a young, divorced mother of two.
She loved them and they loved her. They were family; they gave her
every opportunity to better herself. After work, she ventured
back into school to become an accountant and to acquire a better job
to support us.


 


She went to work at Seven-Up
bottling company, MABE, a kitchen appliance manufacturer where she
was promoted twice in three years. Her last job before retiring the
first time was at “Cementos Tolteca,” an English company
with branches in

Mexico
and, I am sure, other parts of the
world. There she worked for the next 25 years and became (I was
told) the first woman Comptroller of one of the largest companies in

Mexico City
at the time.

 


Mom was highly respected,
chauffeured around, lived well in high society circles and had an
incredible business and social life. Her hobbies were reading and
writing. She became a celebrated Orator in her later years. I am
sure mother could have written her own memoirs. But this is my story
and I am sticking to it…


 


I don’t remember much more
detail during that time, but it must have been a happy one. Mom went
to work, then went to school, came home, read, slept, and studied;
then she read, studied, and slept some more. I remember that she
slept a lot. On weekends, “Mama Toya” would take us out
so mom could sleep and rest. We did not understand why we never saw
her but we knew she was there because grandmother would always ask
us to be considerate of her because she worked very hard to give us
a better life. Her bedroom door was always closed. It was her haven
and we were to respect it, not disturb it, or disturb her.


 


She would always have
“comida” (dinner) with us every day around

2:00 p.m.
This meal is the main meal time in
Mexico
. It is also when the family not
only eats, but everyone shares their day. It can last up to two
hours, time permitting. Then she would go back to work and school.
We did not see her in the morning as she left before we were woken
up to go to school.


 



1952.

I was seven. This was another
year, a new home, and a new story. We moved! Mother was doing
extremely well in her career and was earning “top peso”
for her time and age working in

Mexico City
. This time, we went to a better
side of town. With mom’s earnings improving, she could afford
a much better place. The area was/is called “Colonial del
Valle”. I recently went to the very corner where our house
stood and, to my surprise, the house was gone. In its place is an
enormous building. I don’t know if the house was destroyed by
the earthquake of 1985, or if it was demolished to build commercial
property. This house was old but beautiful. It has mystery.


 


That year, mom enrolled us in the
German
School
. One of their Annex schools
happened to be across the street which turned out to be perfect for
grandmother, who at the time, was severly suffering from Rheumatoid
Arthritis.
I was also enrolled in piano and ballet lessons.
Mom had a chauffer from work at her disposal and part of his job was
to take us to the different locations that we needed to go after
school but before picking her up from work in the evening.


 


One day, I came down with a severe
cold. Nobody worried about it except for my ballet teacher who
became very concerned when I could not do a simple “demi
plié.” Mama Toya, who was my permanent chaperone, told
mom that about my ballet teacher’s concern. Mom reacted
immediately and took me to our doctor right away. She had
acquired a family doctor when my brother, who had an accident per
year, had to go to the emergency room from a huge cut around his
ankle and had to be stitched eleven times.


 


I will never forget Dr. Franco. He
was our family doctor for three decades. Even my second husband and
my children were part of the package. He worked at the “Seguro
Social,” one of the medical systems for Mexican workers,
during the day, and had his private practice at night.


 


Dr. Franco knew it too well. He had
seen these symptoms daily for several weeks. He rushed me to
one of the only hospitals where he knew they could handle my
condition. Time was of the essence. We could not wait. I was
having trouble breathing and walking -- and I was certainly
clueless of what I was about to experience.


 

12/15/2008

 

 

Me too !!I got confused about who was married to the grandfather.....sorry about that!  What a place to drop us!!! Can't wait till the next installment...good grief! I too am thinking polio....but maybe not...can't wait...quickly...write more....rapido!!!! I feel like when I was studying Spanish, and our instuctor made us watch the novellas on the telly,"Un camino, dos Mujeres".  I'm hooked!!!

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re: MER-Memories... continued 12/15/2008

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Message 5 of 7
In Response to MER-Memories... continued 12/15/2008:


My grandmother’s name was
Victoria, but we called her by her grandchildren’s (us) given
nickname “Mama Toya” (pronounced mamma Toy-ah) We knew
that she wasn’t our mother but she was MOM to us. Later my own
children, who were also blessed by her love and care when I divorced
their dad, would also call her “Mama Toya.” Three
generations -- one mom, one pillar, one rock, one anchor.
 



Funny too, now that my daughters
are in their forties, with kids of their own, and my son is almost
there (39), single dad with a son, they too remember her with the
same love and nostalgia that I feel. There will never, ever be
another “Mama Toya” like her in the whole wide world --
to us. She is the only grandma I knew. My paternal grandparents had
died when we were little and given that my mother would not stay
close to “that” family (those were the days), we did not
get to know them. So that was our little world.


 



1950.

I was enrolled in a Catholic
kindergarten. Back then, school began on January 7th,
right after little Christmas (Día de los Reyes). One of the
most celebrated holidays, and the most celebrated for children.

Mexico
was/is mostly Catholic and there
was no “Santa Claus” in those days and/or we did NOT
know because we did not have a television set. We lived a
simple and sheltered life.


 


Mother worked, first, in the retail
sector, downtown

Mexico City
. She was keeping books for
businesses which were owned mostly by the Jewish community. She felt
very comfortable there. She knew that she had come from Jewish
roots. Her grandmother was Spanish/Catholic. She
and mom´s grandfather married even though he
was Jewish (I don’t really know the whole story -- I am
still working on that). He was cast out of the family. But together
and in love, they went to

Veracruz
,
Mexico
in 1896 where he made a living as
an Importer/Exporter until his death. I don’t know where or
how he died. Grandmother was just eight or nine when he passed.


 


Although mom did not discuss this
openly in those days, she knew it. The Jewish community was, to say
the least, extremely supportive of a young, divorced mother of two.
She loved them and they loved her. They were family; they gave her
every opportunity to better herself. After work, she ventured
back into school to become an accountant and to acquire a better job
to support us.


 


She went to work at Seven-Up
bottling company, MABE, a kitchen appliance manufacturer where she
was promoted twice in three years. Her last job before retiring the
first time was at “Cementos Tolteca,” an English company
with branches in

Mexico
and, I am sure, other parts of the
world. There she worked for the next 25 years and became (I was
told) the first woman Comptroller of one of the largest companies in

Mexico City
at the time.

 


Mom was highly respected,
chauffeured around, lived well in high society circles and had an
incredible business and social life. Her hobbies were reading and
writing. She became a celebrated Orator in her later years. I am
sure mother could have written her own memoirs. But this is my story
and I am sticking to it…


 


I don’t remember much more
detail during that time, but it must have been a happy one. Mom went
to work, then went to school, came home, read, slept, and studied;
then she read, studied, and slept some more. I remember that she
slept a lot. On weekends, “Mama Toya” would take us out
so mom could sleep and rest. We did not understand why we never saw
her but we knew she was there because grandmother would always ask
us to be considerate of her because she worked very hard to give us
a better life. Her bedroom door was always closed. It was her haven
and we were to respect it, not disturb it, or disturb her.


 


She would always have
“comida” (dinner) with us every day around

2:00 p.m.
This meal is the main meal time in
Mexico
. It is also when the family not
only eats, but everyone shares their day. It can last up to two
hours, time permitting. Then she would go back to work and school.
We did not see her in the morning as she left before we were woken
up to go to school.


 



1952.

I was seven. This was another
year, a new home, and a new story. We moved! Mother was doing
extremely well in her career and was earning “top peso”
for her time and age working in

Mexico City
. This time, we went to a better
side of town. With mom’s earnings improving, she could afford
a much better place. The area was/is called “Colonial del
Valle”. I recently went to the very corner where our house
stood and, to my surprise, the house was gone. In its place is an
enormous building. I don’t know if the house was destroyed by
the earthquake of 1985, or if it was demolished to build commercial
property. This house was old but beautiful. It has mystery.


 


That year, mom enrolled us in the
German
School
. One of their Annex schools
happened to be across the street which turned out to be perfect for
grandmother, who at the time, was severly suffering from Rheumatoid
Arthritis.
I was also enrolled in piano and ballet lessons.
Mom had a chauffer from work at her disposal and part of his job was
to take us to the different locations that we needed to go after
school but before picking her up from work in the evening.


 


One day, I came down with a severe
cold. Nobody worried about it except for my ballet teacher who
became very concerned when I could not do a simple “demi
plié.” Mama Toya, who was my permanent chaperone, told
mom that about my ballet teacher’s concern. Mom reacted
immediately and took me to our doctor right away. She had
acquired a family doctor when my brother, who had an accident per
year, had to go to the emergency room from a huge cut around his
ankle and had to be stitched eleven times.


 


I will never forget Dr. Franco. He
was our family doctor for three decades. Even my second husband and
my children were part of the package. He worked at the “Seguro
Social,” one of the medical systems for Mexican workers,
during the day, and had his private practice at night.


 


Dr. Franco knew it too well. He had
seen these symptoms daily for several weeks. He rushed me to
one of the only hospitals where he knew they could handle my
condition. Time was of the essence. We could not wait. I was
having trouble breathing and walking -- and I was certainly
clueless of what I was about to experience.


 

12/15/2008

 

 

OMG, from the time frame, I'm guessing polio. Your story is facinating--I'm waiting for the next installment


one suggestion: change "she married her grandfather" to "she and grandfather were married"


I think the "she" refers back to your grandmother and the "her" refers to your mother, but the first time I read it I thought you were saying that your mom married her own grandpa for some obscure reason--LOL--boy did I feel silly

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MER-Memories... continued 12/15/2008

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Message 6 of 7


My grandmother’s name was
Victoria, but we called her by her grandchildren’s (us) given
nickname “Mama Toya” (pronounced mamma Toy-ah) We knew
that she wasn’t our mother but she was MOM to us. Later my own
children, who were also blessed by her love and care when I divorced
their dad, would also call her “Mama Toya.” Three
generations -- one mom, one pillar, one rock, one anchor.
 



Funny too, now that my daughters
are in their forties, with kids of their own, and my son is almost
there (39), single dad with a son, they too remember her with the
same love and nostalgia that I feel. There will never, ever be
another “Mama Toya” like her in the whole wide world --
to us. She is the only grandma I knew. My paternal grandparents had
died when we were little and given that my mother would not stay
close to “that” family (those were the days), we did not
get to know them. So that was our little world.


 



1950.

I was enrolled in a Catholic
kindergarten. Back then, school began on January 7th,
right after little Christmas (Día de los Reyes). One of the
most celebrated holidays, and the most celebrated for children.

Mexico
was/is mostly Catholic and there
was no “Santa Claus” in those days and/or we did NOT
know because we did not have a television set. We lived a
simple and sheltered life.


 


Mother worked, first, in the retail
sector, downtown

Mexico City
. She was keeping books for
businesses which were owned mostly by the Jewish community. She felt
very comfortable there. She knew that she had come from Jewish
roots. Her grandmother was Spanish/Catholic. She
and mom´s grandfather married even though he
was Jewish (I don’t really know the whole story -- I am
still working on that). He was cast out of the family. But together
and in love, they went to

Veracruz
,
Mexico
in 1896 where he made a living as
an Importer/Exporter until his death. I don’t know where or
how he died. Grandmother was just eight or nine when he passed.


 


Although mom did not discuss this
openly in those days, she knew it. The Jewish community was, to say
the least, extremely supportive of a young, divorced mother of two.
She loved them and they loved her. They were family; they gave her
every opportunity to better herself. After work, she ventured
back into school to become an accountant and to acquire a better job
to support us.


 


She went to work at Seven-Up
bottling company, MABE, a kitchen appliance manufacturer where she
was promoted twice in three years. Her last job before retiring the
first time was at “Cementos Tolteca,” an English company
with branches in

Mexico
and, I am sure, other parts of the
world. There she worked for the next 25 years and became (I was
told) the first woman Comptroller of one of the largest companies in

Mexico City
at the time.

 


Mom was highly respected,
chauffeured around, lived well in high society circles and had an
incredible business and social life. Her hobbies were reading and
writing. She became a celebrated Orator in her later years. I am
sure mother could have written her own memoirs. But this is my story
and I am sticking to it…


 


I don’t remember much more
detail during that time, but it must have been a happy one. Mom went
to work, then went to school, came home, read, slept, and studied;
then she read, studied, and slept some more. I remember that she
slept a lot. On weekends, “Mama Toya” would take us out
so mom could sleep and rest. We did not understand why we never saw
her but we knew she was there because grandmother would always ask
us to be considerate of her because she worked very hard to give us
a better life. Her bedroom door was always closed. It was her haven
and we were to respect it, not disturb it, or disturb her.


 


She would always have
“comida” (dinner) with us every day around

2:00 p.m.
This meal is the main meal time in
Mexico
. It is also when the family not
only eats, but everyone shares their day. It can last up to two
hours, time permitting. Then she would go back to work and school.
We did not see her in the morning as she left before we were woken
up to go to school.


 



1952.

I was seven. This was another
year, a new home, and a new story. We moved! Mother was doing
extremely well in her career and was earning “top peso”
for her time and age working in

Mexico City
. This time, we went to a better
side of town. With mom’s earnings improving, she could afford
a much better place. The area was/is called “Colonial del
Valle”. I recently went to the very corner where our house
stood and, to my surprise, the house was gone. In its place is an
enormous building. I don’t know if the house was destroyed by
the earthquake of 1985, or if it was demolished to build commercial
property. This house was old but beautiful. It has mystery.


 


That year, mom enrolled us in the
German
School
. One of their Annex schools
happened to be across the street which turned out to be perfect for
grandmother, who at the time, was severly suffering from Rheumatoid
Arthritis.
I was also enrolled in piano and ballet lessons.
Mom had a chauffer from work at her disposal and part of his job was
to take us to the different locations that we needed to go after
school but before picking her up from work in the evening.


 


One day, I came down with a severe
cold. Nobody worried about it except for my ballet teacher who
became very concerned when I could not do a simple “demi
plié.” Mama Toya, who was my permanent chaperone, told
mom that about my ballet teacher’s concern. Mom reacted
immediately and took me to our doctor right away. She had
acquired a family doctor when my brother, who had an accident per
year, had to go to the emergency room from a huge cut around his
ankle and had to be stitched eleven times.


 


I will never forget Dr. Franco. He
was our family doctor for three decades. Even my second husband and
my children were part of the package. He worked at the “Seguro
Social,” one of the medical systems for Mexican workers,
during the day, and had his private practice at night.


 


Dr. Franco knew it too well. He had
seen these symptoms daily for several weeks. He rushed me to
one of the only hospitals where he knew they could handle my
condition. Time was of the essence. We could not wait. I was
having trouble breathing and walking -- and I was certainly
clueless of what I was about to experience.


 

12/15/2008

 

 
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MER-Memories... continued 12/15/2008

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My grandmother’s name was
Victoria, but we called her by her grandchildren’s (us) given
nickname “Mama Toya” (pronounced mamma Toy-ah) We knew
that she wasn’t our mother but she was MOM to us. Later my own
children, who were also blessed by her love and care when I divorced
their dad, would also call her “Mama Toya.” Three
generations -- one mom, one pillar, one rock, one anchor.
 



Funny too, now that my daughters
are in their forties, with kids of their own, and my son is almost
there (39), single dad with a son, they too remember her with the
same love and nostalgia that I feel. There will never, ever be
another “Mama Toya” like her in the whole wide world --
to us. She is the only grandma I knew. My paternal grandparents had
died when we were little and given that my mother would not stay
close to “that” family (those were the days), we did not
get to know them. So that was our little world.


 



1950.

I was enrolled in a Catholic
kindergarten. Back then, school began on January 7th,
right after little Christmas (Día de los Reyes). One of the
most celebrated holidays, and the most celebrated for children.

Mexico
was/is mostly Catholic and there
was no “Santa Claus” in those days and/or we did NOT
know because we did not have a television set. We lived a
simple and sheltered life.


 


Mother worked, first, in the retail
sector, downtown

Mexico City
. She was keeping books for
businesses which were owned mostly by the Jewish community. She felt
very comfortable there. She knew that she had come from Jewish
roots. Her grandmother was Spanish/Catholic. She
and mom´s grandfather married even though he
was Jewish (I don’t really know the whole story -- I am
still working on that). He was cast out of the family. But together
and in love, they went to

Veracruz
,
Mexico
in 1896 where he made a living as
an Importer/Exporter until his death. I don’t know where or
how he died. Grandmother was just eight or nine when he passed.


 


Although mom did not discuss this
openly in those days, she knew it. The Jewish community was, to say
the least, extremely supportive of a young, divorced mother of two.
She loved them and they loved her. They were family; they gave her
every opportunity to better herself. After work, she ventured
back into school to become an accountant and to acquire a better job
to support us.


 


She went to work at Seven-Up
bottling company, MABE, a kitchen appliance manufacturer where she
was promoted twice in three years. Her last job before retiring the
first time was at “Cementos Tolteca,” an English company
with branches in

Mexico
and, I am sure, other parts of the
world. There she worked for the next 25 years and became (I was
told) the first woman Comptroller of one of the largest companies in

Mexico City
at the time.

 


Mom was highly respected,
chauffeured around, lived well in high society circles and had an
incredible business and social life. Her hobbies were reading and
writing. She became a celebrated Orator in her later years. I am
sure mother could have written her own memoirs. But this is my story
and I am sticking to it…


 


I don’t remember much more
detail during that time, but it must have been a happy one. Mom went
to work, then went to school, came home, read, slept, and studied;
then she read, studied, and slept some more. I remember that she
slept a lot. On weekends, “Mama Toya” would take us out
so mom could sleep and rest. We did not understand why we never saw
her but we knew she was there because grandmother would always ask
us to be considerate of her because she worked very hard to give us
a better life. Her bedroom door was always closed. It was her haven
and we were to respect it, not disturb it, or disturb her.


 


She would always have
“comida” (dinner) with us every day around

2:00 p.m.
This meal is the main meal time in
Mexico
. It is also when the family not
only eats, but everyone shares their day. It can last up to two
hours, time permitting. Then she would go back to work and school.
We did not see her in the morning as she left before we were woken
up to go to school.


 



1952.

I was seven. This was another
year, a new home, and a new story. We moved! Mother was doing
extremely well in her career and was earning “top peso”
for her time and age working in

Mexico City
. This time, we went to a better
side of town. With mom’s earnings improving, she could afford
a much better place. The area was/is called “Colonial del
Valle”. I recently went to the very corner where our house
stood and, to my surprise, the house was gone. In its place is an
enormous building. I don’t know if the house was destroyed by
the earthquake of 1985, or if it was demolished to build commercial
property. This house was old but beautiful. It has mystery.


 


That year, mom enrolled us in the
German
School
. One of their Annex schools
happened to be across the street which turned out to be perfect for
grandmother, who at the time, was severly suffering from Rheumatoid
Arthritis.
I was also enrolled in piano and ballet lessons.
Mom had a chauffer from work at her disposal and part of his job was
to take us to the different locations that we needed to go after
school but before picking her up from work in the evening.


 


One day, I came down with a severe
cold. Nobody worried about it except for my ballet teacher who
became very concerned when I could not do a simple “demi
plié.” Mama Toya, who was my permanent chaperone, told
mom that about my ballet teacher’s concern. Mom reacted
immediately and took me to our doctor right away. She had
acquired a family doctor when my brother, who had an accident per
year, had to go to the emergency room from a huge cut around his
ankle and had to be stitched eleven times.


 


I will never forget Dr. Franco. He
was our family doctor for three decades. Even my second husband and
my children were part of the package. He worked at the “Seguro
Social,” one of the medical systems for Mexican workers,
during the day, and had his private practice at night.


 


Dr. Franco knew it too well. He had
seen these symptoms daily for several weeks. He rushed me to
one of the only hospitals where he knew they could handle my
condition. Time was of the essence. We could not wait. I was
having trouble breathing and walking -- and I was certainly
clueless of what I was about to experience.


 

12/15/2008

 

 
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