Saturday, May 9, 2009

Latina Mother's Day: Consider the Blessed Children! They are the Lilies of the Field!

As children, we attended Catholic School. Our Dad wanted us to receive a good education. He worked for the church as a painter-handyman after his factory job in order to help pay tuition. Our church was a beautiful Cathedral. Every day we attended Mass in the morning before starting school.

When I was in 2nd grade, our class made our 1st Communion. It was a special time for all of us. During the month of May, our class was honored by allowing each of us children who were receiving our First Communion to crown the statue of the Blessed Virgin which graced a beautiful altar at the front of the church. Each of us was designated a special day to crown her. My day was Monday, May 20th.

All of us children were nervous in anticipation of our special day. We knew what an honor it would be to walk up the special steps, lined in linens and silks, to crown the Virgin. Each day, as classmates and family members looked on watching their son or daughter climb the steps, I saw how more beautiful, ornate and expensive the crowns were becoming. Being so very poor and the only Latino child in class, I started to become nervous. Each day I ran home to my mother.

“Oh, momma, momma. The crowns. They are so beautiful. They are made of flowers and gold and silver. Oh so beautiful! Momma. What should we do? How can we make such a beautiful crown to honor her?”

Momma always responded, “Don´t worry. The crown we make for your day will be very beautiful. God will help us. It will be fine.” Mom often quoted bible verse. One of her favorites was, “why are you anxious about what to wear? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say to you, that even Solomon in all his glory is not arrayed like one of these.”

My mother loved to make crafts and sew. We searched and searched her sewing basket but we just couldn´t decide upon the right materials. About a week before my day, she took me to the local dime store. I knew we didn´t have much money, but she had scraped together her change and we went to the store. We searched up and down the aisles. Finally, in the back of the silk flowers she leaned over and found one single thread of Lilies of the Valley.

“Look Mija, it is a sign.” She picked up the flowers and a string of Baby´s Breaths, all within our meager budget, and we headed home. Momma and I carefully weaved the flowers together into a crown. When we finished we both knew it was nice. It looked so delicate and sweet. Just beautiful. Mom hugged me and said, “Consider the lilies of the field, and even Solomon in all of his glory is not arrayed like one of these.”

On my day, I woke up early. Mom had wrapped up the crown in special tissue for me. She came with me to church that day. When we arrived, my nun schoolteacher brought me next to her so she could put me in the procession. I don´t know if she was worried for me, but she looked almost sorry for me when I handed her my tissue covered crown. As she peeled back the tissue, her eyes blinked back her shock. “Oh, Dee! This is a beautiful crown! Perhaps the most beautiful I have ever seen.”

I beamed with happiness and said, “My mother helped me… she said “The Lilies of the Field….”

The sister nodded immediately, smiled and hugged me, and guided me to my place in the procession.

As I leaned up and placed the crown on the Virgin´s head, it slid on very snugly, a perfect fit.

As I climbed down to the bottom step, I looked into my mother´s eyes. She was so proud. My teacher and the kids, they smiled too. I genuflected in front of the Virgin and looked into her eyes. I could tell she was pleased. She looked so happy with her beautiful crown.


Vicente Duque said...

Happy Latina Mother's Day.
Honoring Our Mothers and Wives.
The Strength of Women

Dear Dee :

The Latin American Culture is very Feminine as is apparent in your article.

Catholic Religion in Latin America is extremely Feminine. The Virgin is always dressed in the richest attires with pearls, gold, silver, jewelry, brocados, velvet, etc ..

And Christ is always in agony ( kneeling or in four legs ) with lots of bleeding wounds, after heavy flogging, and with a crown of thorns. The Humiliated Male.

But we are here to honor feminine things and not to criticize and ridicule them.

It is true that Latin America is machista, with guys that have several women and "natural" children ( out of wedlock ).

But some people like me live inside a Comic "Bringing Up Father" or "Educando a Papá" and that is why that comic of George McManus has always been one of the most popular in Latin America.

In that Irish-American Comic Women are the stronger. Your husband is Irish, you have told us that publicly, so you may know a little about the Irish. Perhaps you are a Maggie "Ramona" to your Jiggs "Pancho". Those are the characters of that comic.

I consulted this website :

Excerpts from the page of "Bringing Up Father"

According to McManus, he began an intermittent daily strip in November 1911 (though it may have been later, McManus seems to have had a problem with dates) that included some characters who eventually became Jiggs and Maggie, but it wasn't until January 2, 1913 that the strip formally became known as Bringing Up Father. And it wasn't until 1916 that the strip began appearing as a daily on a regular basis, with Sunday strips following on April 14, 1918.

Bringing Up Father told the story of Irish-American Jiggs, a former bricklayer, and his wife Maggie, an ex-laundress, who achieved sudden wealth, supposedly by means of a lucky ticket in the Irish Sweepstakes (though McManus was a bit vague about their means of wealth in the strip, and the Irish Sweepstakes didn't come into being until 1930). While the snobbish Maggie and beautiful daughter Nora (referred to various times as Katy and Mamie in the strip's early days) constantly try to "bring up" Father to his new social position, Jiggs can think of nothing finer than sitting down at Dinty Moore's restaurant to finish off several dishes of corned beef and cabbage, followed by a night out with the boys from the old neighborhood. The clash of wills that ensued often resulted in flying rolling-pins, smashed crockery, and broken vases, all aimed in the general direction of Jiggs's skull.

In creating Bringing Up Father, McManus was heavily inspired by his recollections of a touring production of The Rising Generation that he had seen performed several times as a youth when it had played at the Grand Opera House in St. Louis, where his father served as manager. The Rising Generation, a musical comedy written by popular librettist William Gill, told the story of Martin McShayne (played by comedian Billy Barry in the production witnessed by the young McManus), an Irish-American bricklayer who becomes wealthy as a successful contractor. As McManus remembered the play, McShayne's socially ambitious wife and daughter were ashamed of his uninhibited naturalness and couldn't abide his old pals, which forced McShayne to sneak out whenever he wanted to meet the boys for a game of poker.

I identified very strongly with Jiggs "Pancho" and sometimes I feel like having a Maggie "Ramona" at home.

But to tell you the true, I am happy and would never consider divorce. I am too lucky of having married a Great Latina Lady.

Marriage is the Revenge of Women against Men -- But I like my condition. I would not like to be a lone sad dog walking the streets.

Note : This is not 100% true. This is for entertainment. My Maggie may hit me.

Vicente Duque

pcorn54 said...


A very happy mother's day to you. You definitely deserve it.

It's an honor to call you a friend and a colleague in this endeavor

Dee said...

In my experience, all the Latino families I know, men, women, boys, girls, all honor their Mothers and hold them in high esteem, not afraid of her. Mommas were not like Maggie, more like Aunt Bee.

I remember as a little girl when we visited San Antonio, the men would gather around and sing songs of "Momma." Momma was often the matriarch of the family. I know my Dad's mother was. He came from a large family. When we had family gatherings, they were huge. And everyone held my grandma in high esteem. My Dad's dad died before any of his grandchildren were born.

Now my Dad was the patriarch of our family/extended family when we lived in Michigan. It was the two of them, my mom and dad, that hosted all of the family gatherings.

My Dad was 6ft tall and very handsome and strong, not like Jiggs. He looked a little like Clark Gable or Anthony Quinn. My Dad was always my hero. My husband reminds me of my Dad in the fact that he is very big, strong and muscular. Very protective and supportive of our family, like my Dad.

When I was growing up, Dad was always working. He worked 3 jobs to provide for our family. My mom stayed home and raised us, all 10 of us. She was always there, sewing, washing clothes, dishes, cooking, ironing, tending the house and family. She helped us with school projects, like the crown for the Virgin Mary for my school project.

You are right. We, like most Latino families, are Catholic. As Americans, we are not so much into the pain/suffering Jesus. We always did have a statue of the
Sacred Heart
. We also honored the Virgin Mary. My mother always had a
Virgin Mary
in her garden, surrounded by roses, usually caste in gray stone (no color). My mother said she would watch over us and keep us safe. Her flowers and garden were always so beautiful.

Dee said...

Thank you Porter. I am glad to have both you, Vicente and ALL my viewers as allies in this worthy cause. (CIR)

Happy Mother's Day to ALL!!

Vicente Duque said...

Happy Mother's Day

When we age we lose our Grandmother and sometimes our Mother, grave loss, but we also lose somthing in ouselves. We lose the happiness of being young with the Treasure of our Grandmother, or our Mother. We lose a Golden Time and a Golden Age. And we have to be stronger.

Happy Mother's Day from Barack Obama.

You should not miss the best comedian of Year 2009 : The Comedian in Chief.

See the Videos of the President's Jokes at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

I am not afraid of saying that I love President Obama and the Family in the White House, and wish the best for them, I am glad of living in these times.

You can see the videos here :

Vicente Duque

The Arizonian said...

I find it interesting that you choose to further 'ethnic' specialization of everything.
Latino this, Latino that.....

So much for throwing aside 'race' and accepting a place as merely human.

Dave said...

Happy Mother's Day, Dee!

Dee said...

My lessons/memories are to teach everyone that Latinos are just like everyone else in America.

Happy Mother's Day.


Anonymous said...


I love this story about finding the perfect crown for the Virgin! I found it very moving, and it's beautifully written, too. You are a wonderful and compassionate human being, so I know you are a good mother to your family. I hope they let you know that every day, too, not just mother's day. :-)

Happy Mother's Day, Dee!


Dee said...

Thank you! I hope your family had a Happy Mother's Day too.

Dee said...

Thank you! I hope you and your family had a Happy Mother's Day too.

We had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. My oldest son and his family hosted a Mother's Day Buffet at their house on Saturday. Our family and my daughter in law's family got together and all of us mom's made a dish. I made Ham using my mom's brown sugar and pineapple recipe. It was a very nice dinner.

All the mom's received flowers, cards and hugs/kisses. That was the best present of all. We have a very, very lovely family!

Vicente Duque said...

Dee :

Thanks for your kindness and Beautiful Stories. My mother is ver sick and I went to her home and was with her all day. She is a Beautiful Heart of a Mother.


Gregory Rodriguez thinks that Sonia Sotomayor won't be appointed to Supreme Court - Because Republicans do not court Latinos

I feel a lot of respect and admiration for Gregory Rodriguez, Great Intelligence and Great Intelectual. He may be wrong, but he is always very deep in his thoughts and comments.

My Corollary for this Theorem is that CIR or "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" is not so important for Obama and pursuing it could be a Pandora's Box for Democrats.

Los Angeles Times
The jilted Latino voter
Both parties once courted Latino voters. But the GOP tilted rightward, and now the economy and jobs are the big issues, even among Latinos. It all means less focus on them as a voting bloc.

Gregory Rodriguez
May 11, 2009,0,7559755.column

Some excerpts :

Paradoxically, it might be that such lopsided support means there will not be a Latino nominated to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter. It's one thing to put U.S. Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor, a New Yorker and the daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, on the short list. But without solid Republican competition for Latino votes, the pressure to actually name her is minimal. (Besides, the White House is no doubt aware that Puerto Ricans make up less than 10% of the U.S. Latino population and, if Obama is looking for gains in that demographic, such a selection would have little political resonance in Western battleground states and among the two-thirds of Latinos who are of Mexican origin.)

All this adds up to Democratic complacency vis-a-vis Latino voters (and probably no Latino nominee). Democrats have other constituencies -- generally more sophisticated, monied and politically savvy -- to tend to.

In the meantime, a survey published last week by the nonpartisan Latino Decisions found that 63% of respondents identify the economy and jobs as the "most important issue for the new administration this year" (at 12%, immigration reform was a distant second). That means that, like most Americans, Latinos have money on their minds. And if the president helps ease the financial crisis, he's likely to keep their support no matter what else he does.

Democratic strategists surely recognize the growing role Latinos will play in the future of politics in this country. The question is how far out of their way they will go to court them, especially without the presence of Republicans vying for Latinos' electoral love.

Vicente Duque

Vicente Duque said...

Videos : A daughter killed her mother on Mother's Day - Most horrible crime

Kicking, trampling and Stomping her mother.

In YouTube :

"Marlo Denny Stomped On Mom's Head"

Vicente Duque

Vicente Duque said...

Dora, the Explorer", the doll from Nickelodeon is becoming more sexy and less childish - Dora will be more Adolescent and less of a child.

This is similar to the "Barbie" doll from Mattel that is not a little girl.

The new doll is being tested with some girls. See her photo with tunic and leggings.

If the marketing tests succeed the the New Sexy Dora will be released in the fall of 2009.

See Dora's photos here :

Vicente Duque

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