Monday, April 10, 2017

Lolita: a story about unconditional love and loss

I was given Lolita by a friend in 2010; I had just graduated from college and moved home to live with my parents. I was working as a teller, I felt like a failure. Lolita was a puppy, I was told she was the runt of the litter. Lolita became my furry best friend, she slept next to me, followed me everywhere I went and watched novelas with me. When I had a hard day at work or if I was sad because I felt stuck she was there to cheer me up. Lolita is my first pet as an adult and showed me the meaning of unconditional love. She quickly became a part of my family - my parents talked to her like a child, it was really quite endearing.

Eventually, I got a job near Oakland and finding an apartment that was pet friendly would be challenging so Lolita stayed behind to live with my parents; at this point she really became my mom's dog. Lolita followed her everywhere she went, sat next to her on the couch as she knit her servilletas, ran around the yard as my mom watered the plants, ran in the street and played with the neighborhood kids. Lolita soon only responded to commands in Spanish.

When my mom passed away Lolita came to live with me in Oakland - I started with Spanish commands and later moved back and forth between both Spanish and English; adjusting to apartment living was hard for her, but eventually she mastered it. Lolita made friends quickly and easily - I can say that she was the smartest chihuahua that I've ever met.

I have countless memories of Lolita - the most important happened a few days following my mom's passing. I remember during one of the nine days of mourning, we were all in the backyard of my aunt's house and Lolita ran into the yard in the middle of prayer. I panicked, I thought she was going to start barking but instead she sat in front of this giant photo of my mom, quietly - it was as if she knew what was going on and wanted to pay her respects.

Lolita died on my 29th birthday. She ran outside after Adrian when he went to get something from the car, she was near the curb and a car hit her. A car that was driving way too fast in a residential area. In our neighborhood that she knew very well. I am upset, heart broken and all around sad.

One of my aunts called me to check on me and asked me if I thought if it was an omen. For the last couple of days I've  been reading articles online, looking at costs on pet cloning (I'm crazy, and it is far too expensive :{ ), trying to figure out a way to cope - there are a few things that I intend to do to preserve her memory - writing this is one of them. I think and hope that will help. I don't  know if it as an omen - but I do think that it is another reminder as to how fragile life is. Yes, Lolita was a dog - but she was my dog, my mom's dog and Adrian's dog and she helped each of us feel a little happier.

I think writing this tiny bit about Lolita, the unconditional love she provided, and losing her is part of something greater - something I have been suppressing to write about that needs to be done and will be done - I've been taking my time.

When someone that is part of your life, your every day dies it is hard, different, weird and filled with a ton of feelings. My dad told me, "estas cosas pasan" - these things happen; and he is right, they do. Dealing with death is something that I never really thought about until someone I loved and is the reason why I exist died. I've had a hard time processing all those emotions; I don't think this is an omen - I think it is time to start writing a new chapter in my life.

Lolita was buried at Dos Amigos Vineyard in Livingston, CA - where I will always be able to visit her.


Here are some photos of Lolita.

Adrian, Lolita and myself at Lake Merrit having a picnic.

Adrian and Lolita at Half Orange drinking coffee. 

Lolita in a sweater my mom made her. 

Annayeli and Lolita playing outside of my parent's house. 

Lolita as a puppy. 

Lolita's first walk in Oakland. 

Lolita sunbathing.

Adrian painting a portrait of Lolita. 

Annayeli holding Lolita on my 29th birthday - my last photo of Lolita.

No comments:

Post a Comment