The story goes, my parents couldn't agree on a middle name, so I didn't get one. When I married Chris, I just moved my maiden name to the middle. I think in hopes to keep something I never had a real chance to grasp as a kid growing up, and that was pretty much the Barbosa family.
Due to my parents' divorce when I was six and some various other issues, I only saw this side of my family briefly and not often. Everyone's story is different on this issue and I don't choose to explain it here or now, but what I will tell you is this: The Barbosa's have always made me feel welcome, and like I was never gone for years at a time.
Last week, the patriarch of the family, known to me as Pop- a cigar smoking, tortilla eating, Mexican ballad belting, always-clean smelling, ho, ho, ho laughing instead of ha, ha, ha laughing, hard working, Saturday napping, King Kong and Godzilla watching Grandpa, Louis Vazquez Barbosa passed away.
It was a privilege to watch his family, my family, gather together, mourning while cracking jokes, seeking a private place to cry and then holding each other hard, putting differences behind them, (the man had twelve kids-who could expect them ALL to get along?) and honor their father's memory, continuing his legacy of laughter and love even when times are hard.