Sometimes You Can’t Choose Just One

This is my Mommy and my Tita.  Two incredibly special women who spent a lifetime laboring over tender spirits.  These photos were a surprise opportunity when I dragged Jax and all his Grandmas outside to photograph them together while Nana Rose was visiting this summer.

I couldn’t choose just one or two. In fact, I didn’t delete any of the images I captured of these two together.  The years have been long together but what remains is shorter still.  This is how they look, with joy shining through their faces, and the wrinkles and smiles telling the story of toil and tears and love overcoming it all.

Their expressions aren’t perfect ones, but they are the ones their loved ones see in them every day.  The yearning gazes, the happy crinkly laughter, the gentle caressing kiss.  When I look at these photos, they show me the true spirit of these women that is as visible to those who know them as the sparkle in their eyes.  I don’t want to brush away a single crease because we put them there – us their children and grandchildren and  great-grandchildren and loves – and time tells a story too deep for words.

| Filed under stories of my life, tita

Tita in Orange

This is my beautiful Tita (a nickname derived from the Spanish “grandmother” – Abuelita).

I’m so grateful she is spending some of her last years here in Texas, just five minutes from our home.  I lived close to her for the first three years of my life, and have lived states away since then.  I’m grateful that Jax gets the opportunity to visit with her, experience her stories, songs, accent, hugs, kisses, adoring and doting on him as she does all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Tita is a gardener.  She came to our home for lunch after church on Sunday, and I dragged her outside to take outfit photos with us since she matched. And since I have so few photos of her, and none of the three of us together.  It took fifteen minutes to get her in front of the camera, because she immediately began tending to the neglected, overgrown herbs in our side garden next to where I take photos.

Jax is eating raw oregano, plucked from our gigantic oregano bush.  He was thrilled that I actually let him put leaves in his mouth, and after a bit of chewing and coughing, he swallowed a few leaves.  These are pretty much the only two photos that turned out.  The others are me digging around in his mouth for leaves to help him not choke, and Tita looking on very concerned.  You can see the rest of the oregano branch Jax is holding in his right hand, sticking out from behind his head/shoulder.

Now all I have to do is replace all the grass and plants around the house with edible herbs, and Jax can eat leaves to his heart’s delight.

Tita is eighty-seven.  Or eight-five, or seventy-five, or forty-five, depending on the day.  She is still amazingly beautiful and stylish.  She has a warm, generous heart, and she loves to visit with her family.  The last time I took Jax to visit her, she wasn’t feeling well. By the time we left, she was cheery and out of bed, saying that Jax was “the best medicine.”  Well, happiness is the best medicine, that’s for sure!

Also, I was wearing a long white beaded necklace, but I left it at church.  Which is fine, because Tita’s got enough style for both of us.  I wish I had a photo of our feet – she is wearing the most adorable red heels.  She insists on wearing heels because it’s good for her back.  When I was younger, I cried for days when my feet grew out of her size, because she had promised me all her shoes.  And I would have worn them.  I would still wear almost every pair of shoes in her closet if they weren’t half my size.

I still buy her shoes for her birthday, and our style is surprisingly similar.  Jax?  He’s got a style all his own.  He is totally rocking the farmer-boy green-stick-hanging-out-of-the-mouth look.

| Filed under fashion, jax reilly, tita