Hortensia Delgado never liked to be the center of attention. In fact, if she was among us right now, she would want us to take the focus off her, and put it on her husband of fifty-seven marvelous years, her seven children, eleven grandchildren, and her six great grandchildren. She would certainly not want us to focus on the sorrow of death, but instead look at the joy we still have ahead of us in our lives. She would want everyone to carry on and continue the faith and traditions she instilled in every single member of her family.
I feel her family should be commended for the loving care they gave Hortensia. Her children’s dedication is a testament of her devotion to each one of them. She was called the rock that kept her family on firm ground; she was also the glue that kept her family together.
Everyone’s most persistent memory of her revolves around her strong faith in God. It seemed that her main purpose in life was to make sure she planted the proverbial mustard seed of faith in everyone she encountered. When times became tough, everyone would come to Abuela Hortensia for guidance, and she would call upon her famous battalion of Saints, to make sure we traveled through these tough times with a strong assurance that God’s will would be answered.
Aside from her tremendous faith she was very detailed in her record keeping. If you needed to know anyone’s birth date you could call her. If you needed to know the last time any of her grandchildren went for a medical checkup, she would know. Her knack for taking notes and jotting down important information seemed trivial, but none the less was very useful in critical times.
Of course, the loss of Hortensia is too near and the wounds in our hearts are still tender. It will take some time for all who knew her to gain perspective on the meaning of not having her in our lives. At this moment our minds are clouded with distressing images of her final weeks. Yet we must all believe that as time passes these images will fade and we will remember the essence of Hortensia, working in the kitchen early Sunday mornings preparing her famous meals for her family, or sitting at her favorite spot in the couch next to her husband’s recliner, falling asleep during Dolphin games while her children screamed and hollered. She loved the simplest gift we could give her, our company and a phone call.
While she is not here in the flesh, she is certainly here in spirit. She will always be in our hearts. So much of her values have been instilled in everyone, that all of those who knew her will continue to make decisions based on what she has taught us. Therefore, she will continue to live through all of us. We must concede to the idea that she is no longer by us, but now has become part of us. She is not gone. She is in the air. She is in every breath we take. She is in every step we take. She is integrated inside all of us. Knowing this makes her passing more acceptable, because her spirit is in the Kingdom of God.