Tina's Mexico

The People's Guide To Mexico

Millennium Buddha

For Jan......

by Tina Rosa

When Steve died, we had a wake. Within a couple of hours of Steve's death on July 1st, friends started gathering in our house to cry, talk, sing, tell stories and comfort each other by being together. When Jan walked into the house she pressed a carved Buddha into my hand, just the right size for clutching in one's fist.

"It's a Suffering Buddha," she said. I looked at the figure in my hand, a cross-legged man hunched over, his head bowed, arms wrapped around his body in grief. "Someone gave it to me when Japhy died, " she added. Her nineteen year old son had died tragically the summer before in a stupid accident. "It's yours now. I'm passing it on to you."

All that evening I clutched the Buddha in my hand. From that night forward it sat beside my bed, companion and witness to the slow passage of the days and weeks and months. When I set out for Mexico I left him there, guardian to our empty home. I certainly wasn't leaving sorrow behind, but I was leaving the Suffering Buddha to his meditations.

It's now almost six months to the day since Steve ditched out on us. The New Millennium's beginning will mark the date. I'm in Ajijic for the holidays and am getting ready to set off for the beach. Lorena and I walk to the weekly market, and soon she is loaded down with bolsas of fruit and vegetables, while I balance a freshly baked pizza, made at a puesto in the street mercado, in its warm box on one arm, while the other carries my shopping bag, with a few necessities. In honor of Y2K, I have bought four small packages of matches. That, some propane and a few candles should do me. I'm going to a place where I have Friends Who Fish!

We stop off to visit a couple who wanted to see pictures of my icons. Sipping coffee, we chat, seated in a shady courtyard where the sound of their fountain sings a soft accompaniment to our conversation. Looking at the memorial icons of Steve and Bobby Sheehan, Dona tells me that their son died when he was seventeen. "But he's with us," she says. "We miss him, but we feel him with us. Otherwise it would be unbearable."

I'm having one of my shaky days, maybe because of my preparations to leave the warm bosom of Carl & Lorena's companionship. My eyes tear up a bit, since I'm not feeling Steve's presence.

We talk a little more, and then Lorena and I get ready to leave. "Just a minute," says Dona. "I want to give you something." She sends her husband up to the bedroom to fetch something for her. When he returns with a small package she opens it up on the table.

"Take your pick," she says, gesturing to two Buddha figurines. One is seated, one is standing.

"I'll take the standing one," I say. "I only have seated ones."

I look more closely. The Buddha I have chosen is laughing. Both of theBuddhas are Laughing Buddhas!

" This is perfect! " I say. I am moved again to tears as I tell Dona. "When Steve died, we had a wake......."

....continued with Degrees of Acceptance

Tina's Mexico:
On the Road Again

#1: Preparing to Leave for Mexico

#2: On The Road Again

#3: Dia de Guadalupe

#4: Gamboling for Cookies

#5: The Geography of Ghosts

#6: The
Baby Jesus

#7: Laughing Buddha

#8: Degrees of Acceptance

#9: Keys for the Road

#10: Not Pie in the Sky

11: Raison d'être

#12: Butterflies & Turtles

#13: Yes, Howard, We did eat Steve

#14: "56"

#15: Dia de Amistad

#16: Rio Purificacion

#17: Popcorn

#18: Ode To Odette

#19: Departure

#20 Pueblita's Flowers

#21: Rearview-Mirror

#22: Lingering


#24 1st Anniversay of Steve's Death

#25 The Mexican Left Turn Angelic Blues

Tina's Stories

Day of the Dead Altar
Ritual for October
All Us Desert Rats
© by Tina Rosa, 1999-2002
Tina Rosa's homepage
Tina's Mexico
Tina's Biography
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Email Tina Rosa at tinar@mexconnect.com

Steve Rogers Memorial

Churpa Rosa Roger
School Days in Mexico