It is indeed a sad day for me. Mari, to whose lavanderia I have taken my laundry since arriving in Xalapa and about whom I posted last October, died yesterday morning.
I have become quite close to Mari, her husband Enrique, and her two sons Omar and Tristan.
Omar came to my apartment yesterday to give me the bad news, which I had heard earlier, and to ask me to attend Mari’s service today.
So this morning, despite my general aversion to funerals, I walked to the Bosco de Recuerdo for the service; and discovered that I was not only the lone gringo present, but the only person not of the family, as well. I feel quite honored by the invitation.
I met and was treated very warmly by Mari’s five sisters and her ninety one year old father.
There was a Catholic service, involving prayers led by a woman to which the others present responded, which seemed to go on for a half hour or so. But being a Pagan, probably a fallen Pagan at that, and unfamiliar with Catholic prayers, I suspect it seemed longer than it actually was.
I will miss Mari, who always treated me very kindly and always had a number of questions ready for me whenever I visited.
I was thinking while waiting for the service to begin that in my six months in Xalapa I have become close to four local families, while in my nine months in Merida I became close to only one. I suppose the explanation for such has more to do with my overall comfort level and my improving Spanish than with differences between the folks in Merda and here.
None-the-less Xalapa is becoming more and more to feel to me like home.