Marisa D. Aceves. Grandmother’s House: 1st Bedroom. digital photography
article by Marisa D. Aceves
For the last three months our minds, hearts, and lives have been tied up in preparing Eloisa’s house for sale.
Although things have slowed down considerably, I have still managed to find solace in faithfully recording some small treasures and a few rooms that remind me of my grandmother’s love.
We will make the long trip to her house again this coming week, but the journey will be a bittersweet one.
Potential buyers will traipse through the long corridor with its’ gold linoleum floors, gradually making their way through the living room, bedroom, kitchen and bath.
Eloisa was not her house; it was only a place she occupied for a certain period of time.
She has been gone for fourteen years, yet our memories of her remain.
It is not as though she sat up one day and announced that she was going to have a wonderful life and endear herself to many of the people that she came into contact with, but that is exactly what she did and all within the small, intimate confines of a typical Texas neighborhood.
The world may find the existence of an ordinary housewife boring even inconsequential.
“There’s not much of a story to tell”, they’d say under their breath preferring to read and write about flamboyant, drunken playwrights or headstrong, oversexed politicians.
There is a story to tell.
While the majority of the world may lack the imagination to see the overlooked beauty and profoundness of everyday occurrences, my grandmother knew that it is a series of small moments that make up our lives not just a couple of huge, game changing events.
If we can maintain a constant attitude of gratefulness for each and every second we are blessed to experience, we will never lose the child-like sense of wonder that leads to happiness.
She grew up sheltered from the persistent pessimism of her day.
Simple swatches of left-over wrapping paper were saved fastidiously, but not out of fear that she would not have enough of the everyday necessities we often take for granted.
“Someone else will need them!,” she would say as she carefully cut the small pieces of tape that sealed her latest birthday present, gently folding the paper into a neat rectangle for a neighbors future use.
Whenever someone was hungry, she always had beans, buttery tortillas and pinched star cookies ready to take home.
My grandmother lived her life for others; the majority of the things she did or said revolved around what was best for them.
She never judged you because you had problems; she would always pray for you and give you a big hug when you were ready to leave.
Eloisa’s legacy was a life of unconditional love and acceptance; it was a life steeped in spiritual simplicity.
Our legacy might be a different one than my grandmother’s, but all of us have an intense longing to be loved and remembered.
We want to know that somehow in this crazy, unpredictable world we made a difference.
What is your artistic legacy?
Is your work a way of life?
Does it illustrate your dreams, fears, and hopes?
What does it reveal about the way you view yourself and others?
Will you make a name for yourself and die lonely, or will you end this life with gratitude surrounded by friends and family?
Can you really have it all or do you believe you must sacrifice everything for your art?
These are questions only you can answer?
Perhaps your legacy will be based on a mantra you invent when you’re sixteen years old or maybe like Eloisa you will simply live an artful life that speaks for itself.