Saturday, October 11, 2008

Happy Bday Rafaela aka Yaya.....

Hola Familia,

Apparently there's somewhat of a mystery surrounding Rafaela Rodriguez's (aka Yaya to most of us) Birthday.....some say it was yesterday 10th Oct. and then others say today 11th Oct. ! I dont think I had ever heard this story or if I did I was way too young to have paid attention , but , from what my mom (Rosa de la Pena) says the story as she knows it is that on Yaya's birth certificate it says she was born on the 10th at something like 11:57 58 59 PMish or so. BUT , she was actually BORN at 12:01 02 03 AMish on the 11th ! I am sure there's different version's of this that might be out there but the mystery of Yaya lives on !
Afraid of angering the CEO of the family ( Aunt Bitsy ) I am making sure that I get this blog out there to y'all about Yaya's bday. I was going to make sure and remind everybody about it but not do a story but I heard thru a memo to one of the middle management executives (my mom) that CEO Bitsy wanted to make sure I recorded any stories or memories everybody has about Yaya too ! So, not wanting to lose my status in La Familia and anger the God's (Aunt Bitsy) here it is ! : )
If anybody wants to submit anything to me about Yaya please send it to me and I will post them as I get them like I did with Grandma Rosa's ! THANKS ....
My Mom's (Rosa) memories of Yaya are one of a very caring and loving lady that although she had no children of her own embraced all her nieces and nephews as though they were her's. And true to form it didn't stop there because once those kids had some of their own she treated the Grand nieces and nephews the same. She was wonderful to all the children. Yaya was the "go-to" person for remembering bday's, she knew everybodies ! My mom remembers that Yaya always, always walked everywhere and never took the bus even if where she was going was on a bus line ! Who could forget the "Silver Dollars" she gave to all those that graduated High School ! According to my mom Yaya was usually thinking ahead and as most people from that era scrimped and saved every penny.When she started getting social security she opened up a bank account and even though it was barely enough to live on she tucked away most of her checks and was able to leave a pretty good amount to be split among her siblings.
My moms memories of Christmas are of Yaya making a BIG production of setting up the Nativity Scene and re-doing the trees and shrubs in it every year and then setting it on top of the old buffet table .
In telling me this story my mom said that Yaya was good enough to have 2 Birthdays ! She said she will always remember her with love & respect.... "My Aunt Yaya was awesome!"

Typed by Cuz Andy ....Memories by Rosa de la Pena
I have very fond memories of my great aunt Yaya. I believe that I spent the best years of my life in Yaya's house on Camaron street. My grandma would pick me up from school everyday and take me to her house. There Yaya was so thoughtful and loving that she would always have something hot on the stove ready for me to eat. I would play t-ball outside in the backyard with a ball made out of my grandma's pantyhose, pick pecans, and sometimes, when nobody was watching, I would try and peek into shed that was in the far corner of the yard...It was kind of like a haunted house to me. Although when the temperature dropped to about 75 degrees, Yaya would insist that I was cold, even though I felt like it was 95. She even bought me this big puffy jacket to wear so that I would never be cold, a jacket that I refuse to get rid of to this day (despite that fact that only a 7 year old can wear it). When I was done with my fun in the yard I would come inside to play more or rest on the chair in the "living room" (formerly Grandma Rosa's room) with the Fredrich air conditioner dialed into the highest setting to cool off and watch TV. Sometimes, I would prefer to go into Yaya's room and lay on her bed to watch from a small (perhaps 12") black/white TV, after fidgeting with the antenna of course. She would always look out for me as a mother watches her child. It was always nice to have two Grandmas under one roof! Indeed, Yaya has the ultimate of special places in my heart. Yaya was, and continues to be, my inspiration and motivation in anything good I do.
Love Robert
I remember Yaya always buying us a little something at the pharmacy where she worked. I do not know how she knew who would be at the house when she got off work, but she would always have something for us. She was always so thoughtful. I also remember when I around 10 when Yaya babysat me, and it was either New Years Eve or the 4th of July. My dad had bought me some sparklers. At last dusk came and I got to lite the sparklers. Yaya had a pail of water and when the sparkler burnt half way down I had to put the sparkler in the water as she was sure it would start a fire.

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