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Red Aspen Blog

Real Women February 2023

Meet Amada, Jade and Mama G!

BE MINE, AMADA

This is my grandma. The ONLY grandparent I have ever known, as all others were deceased long before I was born. She is a pioneer of her time. She raised 9 children after the love of her life was tragically killed in a hit-and-run accident as he was a construction worker on the freeways of Los Angeles. My grandmother was an entrepreneur- which was odd at the time. She invested in Real Estate which gained her financial freedom with raising her children. Being a firstborn in the United States, my grandma grew up in the era of Los Angeles where being Mexican was frowned upon. There were many culture clashes for those who only spoke Spanish. My grandma and her siblings were forced to learn English in school and even went through name changes. My grandma's legal name is Amada, which means "beloved/love" in Spanish. The rest of her life she identified as her "new" name; Mabel. As it was easier for society to say her name, she still has it to this day proud because though it was changed she is still proud of her story and where she comes from.  She was a young child when her family took over a farm in Los Angeles when the Japanese were forced into concentration camps after the Pearl Harbor, she learned to drive at 10 years old to help pick up produce in the fields and deliver to local markets. I continually tell her stories as I hope to one day write a book about her. For her memories need to be shared by someone as she now suffers from Alzheimer's. A horrible disease that has slowly taken her from us for the last 24 years. I carry her legacy with me, as I hold her name in mine (Marisa Amada), and hope to pass it on if I'm blessed with a daughter in the future. 
 

JADE’S GEODES

Jade is one of my sisters. I have looked up to both of my sisters my whole life. They always have my back, no matter what.

 

 

WHAT A RIDE, MAMA G

Ginger Anastasia Riley was my mom. She was far more than that, though. She overcame a lot in her 52 years. She had a rough childhood but she didn't let that get her down. She made a life for herself and her family. In November of 2017, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, breast cancer. Our family was rocked to the core. She fought hard for herself, and for all of us, for 4.5 months. She was taken from this world in March of 2018. My husband was in the military for 17 years. When were dating and after we married, she always opened her door and her arms to single soldiers who couldn't go home to visit family or who had no families. She quickly became known as Mama G. My siblings and I could bring home any strays and she would love them as her own. She was vibrant and hard-working. She worked from her laptop in her hospital bed several times. She was passionate about her family and her friends. She loved camping and having her hands in the dirt. She always believed that when her time came she would slide into those pearly gates and say, "what a ride!" Because that is how she lived life. Ginger was always there for her friends and family. She helped women find their potential and empowered them. She was fearless. She was fun. She was so loved.
 

Written by: Red Aspen Team

2023-02-28

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