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Guest Column: Nana’s Hands by Davina Araiza

Davina in front of a crowd, wearing a costume of red and white and looking to the left, while holding a broom she will use to ceremonially sweep the street in front of the Urn.
Photo by Susan Tiss.

I miss my Nana Virgie. I cried for her the other day. Yelling to the sky that I still need her. I missed her so much I went by her home. The one where she taught me to roll tortillas. Where she taught me, with her beautiful, long nailed, lined with use hands—sewing and the true spirit of sewing. Where she told me “Some people don’t realize what they’re throwing away…” while she showed me this beautiful hand crochet lace baby dress she so carefully washed and dressed a lovely curly haired doll in. So lovingly she tidied the dress on that doll. “This is beautiful” She looked at me and smiled. “People just don’t realize that what they’re throwing away is really special.” Where I saw her long black hair shine through the kitchen window like gold. Where she told me “You’re the best one” with an intensity in which I knew I could never let her down. Where I last saw Her big hands holding my little hands….

But she wasn’t there. And I cried. I knew—looking at that big old house—she is no longer there. Then suddenly—“Whose grand baby are you? You’re strong!” I immediately straightened up, wiped my tears, shook my head in agreement. I have a turquoise back bone. She’s here. In my little big hands. Always guiding, comforting, loving and inspiring. She carries me in her hands, you can see it here in this photo….and I carry her in mine. You can see it in my art. I miss my Nana.

I reunite with my Nana every November during All Souls Procession. Please donate so we can continue this beautifully moving and immensely healing community ritual.

Davina Araiza has escorted the Urn as an Urn Attendant for a decade. She has also volunteered as a seamstress with Procession of Little Angels costuming workshops, a day-of assistant for Little Angels, and a fundraising and outreach assistant, among other things!

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