As we are nearing the end of October, we prepare for the Day of the Dead, a time for welcoming the spirits. This is a holiday which has a complex history. The ancient indigenous peoples of Mexico and Latin America believed that the souls of their dead returned each each year to visit with the living relatives – to eat, to drink, and to celebrate with each other. November 1 (All Saints Day) and November 2 (All Souls Day) are still celebrated to remember the dead that have now past on with decorations on their graves or by being honored with their favorite foods and personal belongings. These days are happy days to commune with those who have gone on before us.
As many of you know, my Daddy, Angel R. Ramos, died on April 16, 2009. Lost in the pain of losing my father, I needed a way to focus my energy and to honor all that he has been and all that he is in my life. Last year, I was honored to be able to make an “ofrenda” or altar offering for him that was on display at Galeria Las Artes thanks to Jose & Linda Garcia for allowing me the opportunity. This year, I am pleased to be able to honor my Daddy once again with an ofrenda display at the Intercultural Senior Center at Sokol Hall, 2021 U Street in Omaha. This Day of Dead celebration is part of the Intercultural Senior Center’s Open House. Everyone is welcome to stop by on Friday, October 29, 2010 between 10:30am – 8:00pm.
Daddy will always be in my heart, in my mind, and in my soul. My life is a tribute to him and I celebrate his lasting memory. I invite you to stop in and see the display.
Below is the tribute to accompany the display:
Angel R. Ramos, my father, was a man that touched my life in countless ways. He was my Daddy, my friend, my confidant, my biggest fan, and so much more. I was his life, his universe, and his dream.
A Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, he fought in Korea and in Vietnam. A humble man, who believed that “your character reflects in your work.” He was dedicated to service to his family and to the community. He strived to be involved in anything he could. He spent many years in Boy Scouts, and he was even my Girl Scout “Cookie Mom” – we walked in parades – we volunteered together – read books and discussed them – went to community classes together…we laughed – we fought – we LOVED.
Daddy grew up in Rincon, Puerto Rico. He faced many trials in his life, but he taught me about the good things in life. He taught me to be proud of who I am, what I stand for, and my family history. He always told me, “If you’re going do something, do it right or don’t do it at all.” My dad’s legacy is not just the good deeds that he did, but his legacy is me. His best work wasn’t work – it was passion – it was us, it was me, and it was all of the things that we did together. Wherever I was, he was, and wherever I am, I know he is.
Daddy, I know that you are watching over me. I had so much more to learn from you, to share with you, and so much life that I wanted to spend with you. But today I celebrate all that you have given me, instilled in me, and what your spirit will continue to bestow upon me. Your memories are alive within me and those who love you.
I found an old Valentine that I gave to you when I was 6 years old saying “I’d be lost without you.” And it’s still true, Daddy. I love you more than you will ever know. The car rides, the ice creams, the bedtime stories, singing me “Lolita” to sleep, TV dinners sitting on the floor in front of the TV watching Three’s Company, daily phone calls, hugs, kisses, me singing karaoke to you (even though my singing isn’t that good), Hawaiian Punch mixed with orange juice, summer vacations, cooking you dinner, washing your clothes, and taking care of you. No one will ever love me more than you did. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be my Dad’s daughter.
My Daddy es mi ángel, mi protector, and just because he is not here physically doesn’t mean that he is not here. He will live on in my heart, in heaven, and in spirit – his soul forever connected to mine – keeping us safe and shining down his love. Thanks for the great memories and being part of my life. This exhibit is to celebrate your life and wish your soul a safe return on El Día de Los Muertos. I await you with open arms con todo el corazón. The boys and I miss you. We honor you. And we love you, Daddy!
“Y mi vida se va. Ya la muerte me llama. Y no quiero morir. Alejado de ti. Puerto Rico del alma. Adiós… Borinquén querida. Tierra de mi amor. Adiós. Mi diosa del mar. Mi reina del palmar. Me voy pero un día volveré a buscar mi querer a soñar otra vez en mi viejo San Juan. Adiós”