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La Ofrenda de Casa Barrios

By Diana Barrios

Director of Finance and Stewardship for the Sierra Pacific Synod

As a young child, growing up in a Latino household, there was an area of our home dedicated to La Virgin, Jesus, and saints of various names. I recall that this was the one constant in our home no matter where we moved. Later, the dedication became a place to honor my deceased oldest brother. When he died, my mom, up to when health issues limited her (about two years ago), would go to the cemetery where he lays to rest, and joined in the larger ofrenda for the Día de Los Muertos celebration. So now that I bought a home, where for the first time extra space is not an issue, I can honor all my relatives and friends who have died.

My two younger daughters help me put the ofrenda together each year. Over many years, I’ve been fortunate to collect photos of people that are part of my family tree. We talk about the people in the photos. Some they know and others we’ve never met. It’s interesting to show them who our familia is and how we can trace our roots back to Mexico and the various towns we would someday like to visit.

This year, we added our Tia Piedad to the ofrenda. She was a funny woman who was never short on words to share. At her seasoned age of 83 years old, she never forgot a name or a story of any one of her 5 siblings, 11 children, or the countless grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. One of our favorite memories with Tia Piedad, that my daughter’s and I discussed this year, was how she loved singing along with the Mariachi. We reminisced about how we captured her on video singing to her heart’s content with the Mariachi band at the Parrian in San Pedro in Guadalajara, Jalisco during the summer of 2019. This amazing and joyful woman will be truly and greatly missed.

To us, this is what an ofrenda means. An opportunity to share stories, to learn more about our relatives or special friends. The philosophy we have is that when you join us en Casa Barrios, you ARE familia; and when you are part of us, you will be remembered in our hearts and memories – forever.

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