All Saint’s Day


On the day after el día de los muertos, I eat sugar skulls and imagine meeting God face to face. My cousin says “el señor dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has even seen or can see”. I asked her how the saints can see Him then, if no one has even ever seen Him or even been able to approach Him? This makes her mad and she goes to church without me, because I like to stay home on Sundays to read the funnies. I am staying with my auntie only for a few days, while my mom and dad are considering getting a divorce.

Divorce is a sin, I believe, but I’m not being raised Catholic so I don’t know if it’s venal or mortal. My cousin, Florita, is being raised very Catholic and is considering being a nun, if she can just feel the calling, which she hasn’t just yet. Florita is irritable and doesn’t like me much because I don’t really speak Spanish and I’m not Catholic and my eyes are green, which she envies in my opinion. I am pretty sure envy is a sin also, though, so she always finds something else to be mad at me about.

My aunt Josefa is actually my great aunt and is too old to have a daughter Florita’s age, according to my dad. Florita is three years older than me, and I will be glad to go home again, hopefully sooner not later. Tia Josefa smells like powder and her feet are very sore. That means Florita has to rub her feet, which does not seem to make her happy, even though serving the lord by serving others is one of the things that makes a young girl know that she has the calling.

When I go home, the first thing I will do is go through the pile of mail that is in the bucket next to the front door, just outside the coat closet. I like mail, especially when there are magazines and coupons for free things like buy one Blizzard get one free. It’s been hard to get anyone to go out for a Blizzard lately, though, because of the divorce discussion, which is making both my mom and my dad pretty distracted. I’m not sure why they want to get a divorce, which I think is because I’m too young to understand.

My grandmother saves wedding announcements and especially 50 year anniversaries. I looked at my parents wedding announcement in her book: Jennifer and Stephen Madrona-Patterson, July 17, 1994. Jennifer and Stephen met while students and knew right away that they were right for one another. They will make their home in Santa Fe, NM.

Jennifer and Stephen

“We’ve had this discussion how many times now? How many?” She is talking in that tone of voice, the patient tone she uses with unfortunate people, and Stephen feels unfortunate, which makes him want to leave even more.

“We’ll keep having this discussion until we can make some kind of decision that we can both be satisfied with,” he says, meeting her tone for tone. He mediates for a living, has the conflict resolution skills of a grand master, and feels like tearing his own face off of his head and running through the streets of Santa Fe screaming until someone calls a task force in to take him down. He sighs.

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