Is this how it begins? My story? Seven pounds, thirteen ounces, two feet, ten toes, on Thanksgiving Day in 1947?
On that day I became the second son and fourth child of Carlos and Christina Nájera when my soul was sucked out of that vast eternal ether and given a place in their family. Given name is Jaime, which is why I have always have had a special affection for my cousin of the same name. It is still a mystery why or how I became Joseph Edward.
With my father? That tall dark handsome man on the left. We see him here in the town of Oxnard, California around 1930 with his mother and the rest of his family. My grandmother is a stranger to me, having died long before my time began.
That is my Aunt Nellie next to her. Her real name was Natalia, and that is my father’s three brothers smiling. The man on the right is John Olivas. John is my father’s stepfather. I will write more about him later. For now, John married my grandmother Maria Concepcíon Nájera de Madrid.
My Aunt Nellie has her own story. Eventually she married Rosario Ledesma, my mother’ cousin. So my Aunt Nellie became my cousin, my cousin by marriage, or my cousin, her husband, became my uncle by marriage. I was told to stop asking about that, although I am pretty sure there were no taboos broken here.
with my grandfather Manuel María Nájera of Tacubaya, Mexico City? Civil engineer, postmaster, photographer, Diplomat for the government of Mexico, refugee.
Manuel María Nájera 1861 to 1919
Does it start back here with my mother’s parents, Doña Margarita and Odilón Ledesma? Here they are in Mexico City holding my oldest aunt and uncle (Manuela and Faustino).
More questions than answers. What does the older generation pass on to the next? These questions take on biblical proportions and bring me no simple solutions.
To be continued . . .