Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mama!!


Maria del Carmen Zapata Casanova was born in Tabasco, Mexico on June 24th, 1925 and raised in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz. Her father was the town pharmacist and their drug store was located next door to their home. He always made sure his customers got their medications.. whether they could afford them or not. He was loved by all. Her home was so large they converted it into "Hotel Casanova" and it still stands to this day, run by my dear cousin (whom I fondly refer to as Aunt Maggie). She and her younger brother (Uncle Pablo) attended private school (French, of all things!) and both loved soccer.

At the tender age of 19, she married a dashing American man in a lavish wedding. He was a fighter pilot in the war and an accomplished chef. They moved to his home in Hollywood, CA and it didn't take long for things to go sour. Come to find out, he was in the war but not the decorated hero he claimed to be and he wasn't exactly a chef, either.. it was more like a cook. Must have been mixed up in the translation.. ya, right.

He was an absolute cad and it wasn't long before she caught him cheating with another woman. She got rid of the lying rat but stayed in the country she had grown to love. Arriving in the states not knowing a bit of English, undaunted she jumped in with both feet. She learned her new language on the job (and watching the Tonight Show .. with Jack Parr, I believe). She worked as a waitress in coffee shop next to Paramount Studios and loved all the writers, lot hands and various other employees she met during her time there. They all offered to give her tours but she always declined, never wanting to put anyone out.

Several years later, she met my dad and the rest is history.

It has been 10 years since she passed and I still miss her every day. She taught me to fear the Lord, to pull my own weight in this little life, to love but not be chumped and really tried to teach me compassion. I'm still working on that one..

Happy Birthday, Mama. I love you.

4 comments:

Melissa said...

Today must be hard for you. I'm thinking of you :)

Melissa said...

Ooops. I'm logged in as you, right now. This is Kadi!

Ms.Christy said...

Melissa,
Your mom was beautiful!! She looks like a movie star.
Christy :)

priss said...

This post made me cry. I know the heartache of losing a parent (my father) and it's one that never goes away. The hurt ceases a bit, but there are always reminders that kick the sorrow into full gear.

Your mother was STUNNING! She sounds like she had a fascinating life, despite hardship.

 

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