Friday, August 22, 2008

She was born before World War I

This is a picture of my Nana Mercy, taken at a party for her last October. She's my great great aunt. I got to visit her last Saturday, with my grandma and brothers. (My grandma is her niece.)

She died this afternoon. She was 97.

Born in a small town in Mexico, Nana Mercy, or Mercedes Garcia, was the oldest girl of about 7 brothers and sisters (her sister Juanita and my grandma couldn't figure out exactly how many because at least one had died young). Their mom had died during the last one's birth, so Nana Mercy took care of the younger ones. When her sister Elodia died, Nana Mercy raised her 2 kids - my Grandma and her younger brother, my Tio Monchi. "We were very close to her," grandma says.

I don't remember her that much from when I was little, but my grandma says she remembers her always making tortillas. "And we all liked her beans."

This week the doctor said her heartbeat was getting weaker. She could barely open her eyes even when she was awake. More relatives flew in or stopped to say goodbye.

Finally today the priest came and performed last rites. Then my Tia Pechi, her daughter, was rubbing Nana Mercy's head. She leaned in close to her and said loudly "Go!"... "We're OK with you leaving. You need to rest."

Then two or three minutes later, she let out a great big and final sigh.

My grandma said she watched the mortuary take her away, and she "was very peaceful. She looked like she was asleep."

Te quiero, Nana.

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