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Mexican Culture: The Funeral of Don Cleto

Dahlia in Mexico

Dahlia in Mexico

Mexican Culture:  The Funeral of Don Cleto

Tuesday, November 07, 2006
We got the phone call yesterday.  It wasn’t exactly unexpected.  Don Cleto had passed away.

Anacleto Salcedo Rordriguez was Omar’s grandfather.  We always said that Omar was lucky, at 28, to have three living grandparents.  We were all lucky to have known Don Cleto.

He was born and spent his childhood in a cave in the Mexican state of Zacatecas.  One of his earliest memories was of the Revolutionary soldiers passing through.  In those lawless days the soldiers took from the people whatever they needed to go on—food, clothes, women.  Don Cleto’s parents were fortunate.  The army took only food and clothing.

As a young adult, Anacleto started a family—and didn’t stop until they numbered ten children.  Soon after, his wife died—whether from disease or exhaustion, we don’t know.

Omar’s father fell somewhere in the middle, age-wise.  By the time he was eight, he was selling eggs door-to-door, barefoot.

Don Cleto raised his family to be close and strong.  When he became ill with diabetes in recent years, his children and grandchildren filled his house, as they always had, and gave him constant care.

Don Cleto never complained when he lost first one leg and then the other to his disease.  But he couldn’t understand why God took two of his children, Mago and Javier, before him.

Lately Anacleto hadn’t been able to keep down food, and was sinking into dementia.  Yesterday at 9 in the morning, entering his bedroom with a glass of water and to help him turn, Carmela and Lipa found he had died a few minutes before before.

Don Cleto lived his life in austere conditions.  He could never provide his family with material goods.  But his house was central in the lives of his ten children, and later their spouses and the grandchildren, so many it’s impossible to keep them straight.

That’s where the love was.

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Categories

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.