Born: August 13, 1922, Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Immigration: about 1959
Died: March 7, 1999, Brawley, California
Maria Aurora was born on 13 Aug 1922 in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico. In the early 1940’s, she had a son with ALEJANDRO PALACUELOS. A few years after the birth of her son, Aurora’s father was shot and killed on the debate stage. Four years later, her mother died. About ten years after the birth of her first son, she had another son with GUILLERMO JORDAN EMBREG.
In 1959, Aurora brought her sons to America. Her older son, then in his late teens, got a job working in vineyards. Her younger son would go on to join the military during the Vietnam War. She was given a Social Security number in 1964.
She hooked up with NICOLAS “NICO” GARCIA in 1975. They lived together on a little farm in Westmorland, California, for years. On 20 Jul 1987 in Yuma, Arizona, they made it official legally. Her younger son and his wife served a witnesses at their court wedding. A couple of months later, Aurora was naturalized, and became and United States citizen.
Maria Aurora was known as “Abuelita” to her grandchildren. I only met her once when we went to visit in 1998. She was well into her 70’s by then, and used a walker to get around. She was still a sweetheart, and very petite. I’m 5’8″, and she barely reached my shoulders.
I remember I took a picture of a rooster. It had caught my attention because it was crowing. I thought it looked beautiful. However, being the pre-digital camera days, my photo didn’t come out nearly as beautiful as I had hoped. But I took the picture of the rooster, and I remember Abuelita laughing and asking her grandson, my husband, what I was doing. I didn’t speak Spanish very well, and she didn’t speak English, so my husband was our translator. When he told her that I thought it looked pretty, she just shook her head at this silly girl from the city and her fascination with the rooster. I remember her complaining to my husband that the rooster drove her crazy with his constant crowing. “Otra vez, otra vez,” she told him.
Years later, long after her death, I put together a digital scrapbook page of the event, complete with the photos of out trip out the farm and everything. It was part of a challenge that asked us to scrap about the important women in our lives. Even though I’d only met her that one time, she was important to me because of the influence she had in my husband’s life while he was growing up. I submitted the page to a digital scrapbook magazine, and it got published! It appeared in Simple Scrapbook‘s Digital Scrapbooking 3 edition, pg 97.
She died March 7, 1999, in Westmorland, California. She was buried in Riverview Cemetery, Brawley, CA.