By Patricia Ramirez
On behalf of Gloria Medina’s family, I want to thank you all for being here today.
She would be happy that her family and friends gathered tonight to celebrate her and her life! She had many roles: abandoned by her mother, yet raised by her grandmother, Mama Reyes. a wife to Napoleon for 10 years (give or take a year or two), a mother to five children, Ana, Jose, Sandra, Carmen, and Maria. A grandmother to 12 grandchildren (linda, myself, Omar, Erica, Lucia, Julio Cesar, Rick, Tatiana, Karen, James, Nicolas, and Ryan). A great grandmother to 10 great grandchildren (Joseph, Diego, Daisy, Juliana, Sofia, Mateo, Ricky Javier, Anthony James, Annalise, and Cruz, ). She was a friend to many different types of people, whether you knew her for a few minutes or for decades. Before she fell ill, she would always talk to the gardeners and offer them water or soda because she knew it was hard work and they were always very appreciative of her kind gesture to them.
Family. Independent. Funny. Kind. Giving. Faith. Food. Fierce. These are all words that people used to describe her. My friend, Adriana and her bonded over my granny being naked as Adri walked into our house and my granny’s response to her was: Well it isn’t like you haven’t seen this before and they both started to laugh out loud.
Discipline is a word that comes to mind when I think of my granny. She was a housekeeper for two decades and she saved all her hard earn tips, and salary less than $13,000/year at times to buy a home in San Francisco by herself. This amazes me to this day - how a woman, with only a sixth grade education and very little money entered the border to make a home for her family. Her struggles were tough and dangerous at times, however in the end, she only wanted the best for her family.
Many of my memories is of her in the kitchen making traditional dishes such as tamales, sopa de res and feeding everyone who came over her house. She would wake up and make a cup of coffee. None of these fancy expresso machines for her. She would than have her cup of coffee with pan dulce. And she had the magic touch to make anything taste good from her chicken soup to her pescado frito.