Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Honoring my dad today- Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos is on Nov 1, 2, 3 here in Zipolite and Oaxaca City and all over Mexico

Today I am honoring my dad online today on the day of his passing but this next week I will go to Pochutla and gather the flowers and little clay pot to hold the copal and create a little alter for him and put some fruit and bread and a drink there and chocolate.

He passed away when I was just a little girl of eleven. Every year I shocked at how much time has passed. Forty four years. 44 years. That is along time not to have a dad/father in your life.

Photography by Tina Winterlik aka Zipolita © 2017

Do you know something else? I have been telling everyone recently I am 56...ha! ha! I just realized I am only 55. Go figure. Ha! I just gained a year! Well that's a nice surprise, I guess. Silly me.

Anyways, I just wanted to post a little bit about what Dia de los Muertos is about. Here in Mexico the relationship with death is so different. And it starts at the beginning of life. People talk about it. In the so called Canadian culture it is much different...and I am not talking about Indigenous cultures because those cultures are thousands of years old, and I talking about the last 150 years that Canada so proudly claims (puke...but that's another story)

There they have Halloween and it is COMPLETELY different than Dia de los Muertos. I read about some trolley ride and it was to go to the old morgue and other gross things. There it is about haunted houses and scary gross often violent things, like Fright nights and negative energy.

Dia de los Muertos is about LOVE! It is about honoring the people who have passed on to the next place but are with you in spirit. I carry all the people I love in my heart. They are always with me whether here in this world or the next.

Dia de los Muertos is a mix of indigenous and christianity but it is a personal thing. Honoring those you loved and still love. It's about not forgetting them. It is about showing respect and cherishing their memories.

So Daddy, I love you. I miss you. I wish you could have physically have been in my life much longer. I know you are near and in this last year I have learned how to reach out to you and ask for help, when I call on my ancestors for help, I always ask for yours. I want to thank you, thank you for all your love and support and protection.

Photography by Tina Winterlik aka Zipolita © 2017

Photography by Tina Winterlik aka Zipolita © 2017
That is the garage my dad built, he was really great at building, and making things. I remember he made me a merry go round and a little swimming pool. He was a great gardener, he was a good farmer and we had a small hobby farm when I was growing up and we ate very well. He was a good provider. He had a hard life. He was the youngest of 11 children (that survived. 2 died) of Bohemian Immigrants/Settlers and I know he tried many professions like fishing and farming and he built homes for his mom in Sooke I believe and one in Vancouver...that had a bay window but it's gone and I didn't get to see it.  He built a nice home in Surrey for us.

He worked for 20 years at BCTel until they went on strike and he decide to try his hand at a business but he had no training and the timing just was not right although, he was a visionary like me. He knew the highway would get bigger and more traffic would come.

He tried so hard to make this restaurant, garage and camp ground work. He worked himself to death.

My mom and him and my brother tried to make it go 24 hours a day. It was too much. They were all sleep deprived. My father drank to deal with the sadness. He refused to go on welfare and couldn't get help anyways. The doctors just gave him pills do deal with the stress. In the end it was to much and he took his life. And since he took his life there was no life insurance and so my mom was left with an awful mess of raising 3 teens alone and dealing with debt collectors and many difficult things.

It was alot like that movie Ya Ya Sisterhood. Have you ever watched that? Not so violent but yes there was a lot of anger and stress and depression. But there was love. He loved us all so much.

He was also raised Catholic and well that is too big of an issue to discuss here but there just wasn't any help for him.

What happened to us left a legacy that I have learned to deal with and in the last year in my class in Carving and Reconciliation I dealt with a lot of the grief and the carving really helped me grieve. Art has really helped me so much.

So I will use art to build a beautiful little alter for Dia de los Muertos and honor him and my mom and all the beautifuls souls who have passed and whom I carry in my heart.

My dad is why I became a photographer. He left us all these great home movies and my mom and I made them into Vhs and then I put them on the computer and made this little video. It's about 30 minutes so get some tea and treat and watch. You may find it very interesting and you may want to do the same with your own home movies that your parents made.

This 5 years ago at the end of a fabulous night of celebrating Dia de los Muerots.

Stay tuned for more Adventurez In Mexico #AdventurezInMexico

Photography by Tina Winterlik aka Zipolita © 2017

Videos filmed, produced & edited by
Tina Winterlik aka Zipolita © 2017

Dia de los Muertos Videos in Oaxaca 2012

Dia De los Muertos - Oaxaca City - 2012 Photography by Tina Winterlik aka Zipolita © 2012

Dia De los Muertos - Oaxaca City - 2012 Photography by Tina Winterlik aka Zipolita © 2012