Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Looking For Mementos

After seeing all the altars set up for the Day of the Dead in Longmont, a friend and I decided to set up an altar of remembrance for a friend that recently passed away. Spirit of Christ Catholic Community will celebrate Day of the Dead, in the Mexican tradition, on November 1 and 2. Anyone wishing to set up an altar will be assigned a table and then our imaginations can run loose!

We came up with a few ideas for our friend, like using a pink backdrop, because that was her favorite color. Soon we had a list of some of her favorite things; Starbucks cup, books, teas, dog, angel, car, and so on. My hope is that we are able to set up a beautiful display for when she visits, as the tradition goes, so that she will be pleased.

 I thought that since I am going to be helping set up her altar, maybe I should do one for my parents and brother. As I made a list of items reminding me of my family I realized that many of the things I could have used I had gotten rid of at my garage sale. I decided to visit a thrift store and maybe I could find similar things that would remind me of my parents. The price tags on some of the jewelry was outrageous. I had sold similar things for $1.00 at my garage sale and here they were asking $5.99 for something similar. I thought thrift stores were supposed to be cheap! After all, we give our stuff to them. I left the thrift store and decided to go to a dollar store. At least at the dollar store it would be a new item and not a used one. My Mother loved flowers and I purchased a vase and some plastic flowers for the altar for three dollars.

Today I went to Hobby Lobby and Michaels to see if I could come up with fresh ideas. I am looking for a bar of Pamolive soap because the tradition is that the spirit visitor will need to clean up after the long journey and Pamolive is the soap we used while I was growing up. I did find a bull fighter my Mother bought in Juarez, Mexico. She loved paintings on velvet! She loved President Kennedy also! At Barnes and Noble I bought two magazines (most expensive of my mementos), Popular Mechanics and People. How I would like to see their faces as they are brought up to date with the latest news!

My collection of things gathered for the altars are a tea pot, flowers, Our Lady of Guadalupe statue, a painting of Kennedy, a square dancing bolo, jewelry, a man's watch, a pink soap, a rosary, a tiny skeleton, a bottle of Tequila, an apron, a phone book, vegetables, magazines, a dog in a globe, and some tools.

Receipts of things purchased came to $39.21. The altar is getting to be quite expensive. I still have a few more things to buy and then I can set up an altar. One thing for sure, is that setting up an altar is not as easy as it looks.

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
love leaves a memory no one can steal."
From a headstone in Ireland

1 comment:

  1. And those memories will hopfeully ease the sadness and grief, we will always have those!