StoryCorps at SHC: Anna Dapelo-Garcia and Erica Dapelo-Garcia

She had tremendous influence on me, til this day.


Anna Dapelo-Garcia (ADG): I want my granddaughter to say, "My grandma's nicer to me than you are, mom." (laughs).

Erica Dapelo-Garcia (EDG): Cool, you're already (laughs) bullying me.

ADG: So I want to be there, I want to, you know, be there when there's graduation.

EDG: Right.

ADG: I want to be there when, you know... cut the little sandwiches in triangles and stuff like that.

EDG: Literally, the things you've never done for me.

ADG: Yeah (laughs), exactly.

EDG: Great.

ADG: Well, you know, I'm not as... I'm not in the same place anymore and I'm not trying to figure out life.

My grandmother, you know, she was getting older in life and her health wasn't that great. She had lived in El Paso her whole life, my dad was living in Los Banos and he wanted her to be here in California so he actually went to El Paso, they flew back together. She sold her house there and every couple of days I was driving out to Los Banos to see her because it was pretty obvious her, she was sort of at the end of her life.

One day, after work, I went to go visit her and it was, like, almost a two hour drive and I remember saying to my dad this one day, "I'm just going to stay overnight." And he said, "Well, why?" And I said, "I don't know. I just, I just want to stay overnight and I'm going to go to Walmart and buy a couple things, toothbrush, whatever. I'm just going to do that." And he said, "Okay." So, that night, she was sleeping in the guest room downstairs, I was in one of the bedrooms upstairs and we all went to bed.

For whatever reason, I woke up at like, 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. Everybody was asleep. I went down the first flight and the second flight of stairs, and I don't know what made me go into her room. And so then I went into her room and I looked at her and she had this look of despair. But she was not alive. I had a hard time trying to, like, take this in, because I thought, like the movies, I thought when you die your eyes just go down (laughs) and then you-

EDG: Right.

ADG: You just, you look like you're sleeping. And I was sad that she looked terrified. And I thought, "Was she saying goodbye? Was she scared that she knew she was dying?" In a way it was sad and in a way I'm glad I didn't get a call.

EDG: You had some form of closure.

ADG: Yeah. I had closure with her. But she's somebody that I sort of talk to, still. I was her only grandchild and I felt that her love was just genuine, and she would teach me around how to be a lady, to have good manners, go to church, how to dress. She was very, very proper. She had tremendous influence on me, till this day.

EDG: Do you think you're going to be that kind of grandmother?

ADG: Probably a little bit, you know?

EDG: Probably a lot.

ADG: Yeah (laughs).

EDG: Yeah (laughs).

ADG: Um... I want them to be excited, you know, to come to my house.

EDG: And I want those things too.

Sound Editor: Gabriel Maisonnave

We use a transcription service, and though we do check for accuracy, there may be errors. Please contact us if you have any questions.

We'd love to hear from you.

We're here to answer your questions, schedule your recording, and guide you throughout the process.