On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Who, what, where?

The other way I know we're heading into fall is because there's Halloween merchandise in all the stores. It's been there for at least six weeks, but now there's even more.

One of my favorite cultural customs is Day of the Dead. Our local museum always has a lavish display involving the entire community, but particularly hosted by Mexican Americans. There are crafts, sugar skulls to decorate, a mariachi band and memorial exhibits of loved ones long passed.

However, whenever I ask the boys at Juvenile Hall about Día de los Muertos, they seem clueless. Their own families don't celebrate the day, the kids have never seen a sugar skull and they don't know what I'm talking about. I've never quite figured out this disconnect, whether it's because their families are in such disarray that the calendar is never noticed and holidays aren't honored, or if it's because this particular custom is more prevalent in parts of Mexico that they've never seen. Or is it because some of the boys were born in the United States and the traditions have been lost in translation? Whatever the reason, it's always a bit jarring to see how many Anglos now commemorate the Day of the Dead when the originating culture does not. This is one of life's big mysteries....


  1. Life is certainly full of mysteries.

    Anyway, we did a cow skull in a drawing class once and it was the hardest subject I have ever drawn. You did a good job with this one.

  2. Well, I have to admit I find them a bit creepy (my son and dil have a little display of day of the dead things in their home), but your drawing of this skull is excellent! nancy

  3. I love skulls too ^^ And now I don't think it's morbid, and your drawing of the subject is awesome!

  4. Oh you guys, don't encourage me. Now I'll want to draw more skulls and bones!

  5. I celebrate this wonderful holiday too. I've never seen a sugar skull though. The first time I went to the cemetery on the Day of the Dead something very mysterious happened (or at least it seemed that way :) Now I can't miss it. Love your illustrations too btw.


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