hi there! i'm michelle, southern california based photographer and curator of the coco gallery.

welcome to my blog where i share my life, my latest adventures, photo projects, random nuggets and the occasional stray thoughts.

for clients: to view my portfolio just click on this link - theCOCOgallery.com. to book sessions please send me a message through theCOCOgallery.com or contact me via michelle@thecocogallery.com | 949.734.0604

Thursday, December 4, 2014

still remembering mom

when my mom finally passed it wasn't a surprise, it was a welcome relief, one that took eight years to arrive. still, at the funeral, the grief took over and my sister and i were choking in our tears. neither of us could read the story we prepared to share with friends and family that day. curtis had to step in and read it for us. to remember mom on her birthday, i dug that farewell tribute up to share today.

everyone has a set of best loved stories and we wanted to share one of our favorites about mom with you. we’re sure that some of you are familiar with this one. 

often times our mom, who was ever the disciplinarian, would use her life stories as tools to teach us valuable lessons. this story is about mom, who was a willful child raised by her grandmother (aka lola inay). 

let me begin by saying that lola inay was a strict disciplinarian and woman to contend with. lola inay had long established a set of rules, and one of them was that the children in the house were not allowed to visit the neighbors without her express permission. permission was not always granted, especially when one’s chores were not done. mom, the youngest of the many children in the house, decided all on her own that she was special and did not need permission - and besides that, she was sure that she could sneak away for a couple of hours and no one would ever even notice. that day, she snuck over to the next door neighbor’s house where there was a little girl of the same age to play with. it wasn’t until a few hours later that she heard lola inay yelling for her from the other side of the shared wall. in a panic, she hurried towards the wall and peeked over. lo and behold, there was lola inay! she was too close for her to sneak back home and not get caught, but she could hear the insisting tone in lola inay’s voice that meant she was upset.  and when lola inay was upset, you had better believe that it was the end of the world. she HAD to try anyway. she started around and attempted to enter the house from behind, but then lola inay turned around and they made eye contact. oh god! it was a deer in the headlights moment… mom took one look at lola inay, quickly spun on her heels and started running the other way. lola inay was right behind her. mom ran towards town, through the market and eventually ended up circling the entire neighborhood in an attempt to lose lola inay.  Please remember that this is her grandmother – but the woman was known in town as a woman of steel and quite the legend. mom realized that she was losing ground and decided to head home. needless to say she was punished for her naughtiness. it was a terrible punishment, but one that mom shared with us. she only wanted us to know that we would not have to suffer similar consequences – provided that we choose not to disobey her house rules, which she had modified to fit her own style of parenting. {we smile}

that willful child grew up to be a headstrong woman of great character. she had an atrocious temper and a dynamite sense of humor. she was your best friend and your favorite shopping buddy. even in the last eight years when the pinnacle of life was not at its best, you could still see that spark that was mila, in her eyes.  we love her and we’ll greatly miss her. this is only one of many favorite mila stories and we shall always remember her since we never tire of swapping mila stories with friends and family.

mom was born on dec 4, 1945 and passed away on july 4, 2006. my sister's daughter yuki was born six years later on dec 4, 2012 and the celebration of life continues with the new generation of willful females in our family