Eleanor Rendon Urias. That was my mother's given birth name. She was born in Los Angeles, California on December 23rd , 1928.
This year on September 24th on a Saturday evening she passed away surrounded by most of her children quietly and without pain.
She held on as long as she could with the hope of having more family get togethers , cooking , making sure that we all ate well and stayed a close family. However she could not fully recover from an operation to remove a stomach tumor and continued to grow weak. She did fight for a while and dodged some bullets as she has done all her life.
My mother although born in L.A. moved to Mexico as a child during the Great Depression like many Americans did at the time. She returned to America as a teenager. She worked on a farm , picked tomatoes in the fields , worked in fish canneries and along the way was able to raise 12 children.
Things for us were never easy and as I look back even depressing some times but some how she must have raised us right because we all turned out pretty well. None of us ended up in jail or on the streets . In the early days we grew up in the "ghetto" or as people say now "the Hood" surrounded by street gangs , race riots and more but we all were able to come out more influenced by our mother than the influence of the surrounding area. She raised a good group of kids.
If you ask anyone about my mom she was a survivor. But more than that she was a Mom. Not just to me and my brothers and sisters but to anyone who happened to come into our house. There are a number of people who have told me that she was like a second mother to them . So they had to behave around her because they couldn't get away with being a little brat. My brother Johnny's oldest friend Jesse said that he liked my mom because She told it like it is. She didn't mess around!
This past monday there was a Memorial vigil in National City ( an area of San Diego) very close to her last apartment. There were lot's of people there and tons of flowers. It was all so beautiful and the next morning there was a Catholic mass service for her before proceeding to the Holy Cross Cememtery. I keep telling people it was the most beautiful ceremony I think my mother could have had. Certainly the most beautiful one I've ever been to. I'm sure she loved it. I can hear her saying "Aye, Que bonita!"
Myself and all my brothers - Daniel, Richard, Johnny, Manuel , my mother's brother Gilbert, my nephews John Jr. and Abraham were all pallbearers. I think that was the most I've ever seen at one funeral. I'm sure we could have had more if we could fit around the casket.
As we opened the doors to the church and carried my mother through them a light rain began to fall. It hadn't rained for a long time and my sister Josephine was saying that it's said that rain falling at a funeral means the Angels crying .
I will always love my mother and I will always miss her.