Lola: Women’s History Month

Lola and Cousins during Christmas 1991 in Naples

My aunt unearthed this treasure of a photograph. I feel inclined to share it today, my final day here in the Philippines before taking off for the United States.  I might be late for International Women’s Day, but not for Women’s History Month.

My grandmother, Lola Clavelina “Belen” Antiquera Grajo, was something special.  Born in 1922 in Juban, Sorsogon, Lola married my grandfather on the 4th of July, 1946.  The war-era romance led to ten children, my uncles (and aunt).  All of the nine siblings who came of college age were college educated.

Lola came to the States in 1978 and later to live permanently in 1984.  As long as I can remember, Lola spoke English beautifully. Her Florida garden was a tropical haven.  How could one woman be this beautiful light?

She passed in 2000 at the age of 78.  While we wished she could have lived on, her life was a true force of nature.  I’m grateful to be staying in the house that was her last residence in the Philippines. And I’m glad to call this woman my Lola.

Shayna Grajo