Dia de los Muertos - Day of the Dead? Based in LOVE!

Growing up in San Antonio Texas, as a blond child of parents from northern Indiana, I was surrounded with many conflicts in understanding the traditions of my school friends and my own family's view of what family traditions "SHOULD" be. I was taught to reject what I saw in the religious based customs in this area. For most of my adult life, I thought and practiced that "this is just not what normal people do". It was not until I was in my late 40's, that I met and then married a wonderful Hispanic man ( who saved me, & more on that later) that I was then,exposed to how deep faith, traditions, respect and responsibility for family multi -generations both living and yes, shall I say it, "DEAD", hold a family, and neighborhood together.

 Our Differences - Our Love

My neighborhood? New homes, elite schools, fences, walls, and watching out the window for strangers. Not knowing the names of your next door neighbors and only allowed to play or interact with "certain people".

My husband's neighborhood? A small home built inch by inch by his father's own hands, using step by step instructions from a book! ( that we still proudly own! ) The home as old ( 60 + years old) and quaint as it is, still stands, and is still maintained by members of his family. The same families / neighbors for the most part still live there. Still meet and greet each other in the front yards. They still come over when someone is sick. They all come over to birthdays, weddings, new babies, and sadly to stand by a bedside, to say good bye to someone that is passing on - Literally, yes they do!

I was never exposed to such community and that bond before, at first I was thinking, "Wow, how nosy everyone around here is!", but as I have seen the strong bond that these life long friends and neighbors have, I feel this need too, it is so comfortable and  the feeling is LOVE!

I have started embracing this culture for the colors, the themes, and the deep, deep meanings that I am still learning about, and I am HOME! So in my own little way to express myself, I am choosing to share this new found LOVE, with making jewelry and other wearable art, so others, too are "not afraid". I want you too, to see what was a creepy thing and understand that it is all based in that LOVE!

Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.