Baylor College Medical School

42.1. A Celebration of Grandfathers by Rudolfo A. Anaya

When Anaya was a child, what were the important things that the young learned from the old?

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1) "Buenos dias Ie deDios, abuelo." God give you a good day, grandfather. This is how ' I was taught as a child to greet my grandfather, or any grown person", It was a greeting of respect, a cultural value to be passed on from generation to generation, this respect for the old ones."

2) "I remember once, while out hoeing the fields, I came upon an anthill, and before I knew it I was badly bitten. After he had covered my welts with the cool mud from the irrigation ditch, my grandfather calmly said: "Know where you stand."

3) "One very dry summer, the river dried to a 'trickle; there was no water for the fields. The young plants withered and ·died", ' In my sadness and with the impulse of youth 1said, "'1 wIsh it would rain!" My grandfather touched me, looked up into the sky and whispered, "Pray for rain."

4) About death— "Think of the death of the trees and the fields in the fall. The leaves fall, and everything rests, as if dead. But they bloom again in the spring. Death is only this small transformation in life."


A Celebration of Grandfathers