Monday, February 1, 2016

~ Pablo Griego - Nacio 1841 y Murio 1915 ~

"If the very old will remember, the very young will listen" ~ Chief Dan George

There are seven days to this story but the most important ones took place at the La Joya Cemetery in New Mexico on September 21 and 22, 2012.

Ruben Griego, Gilbert Griego, and Robert Griego rode our bikes respectfully from Cedar City Utah, Barstow and Three Rivers California.  While we traveled separately, together we had one common goal.  We came there to honor our grandfather Pablo Griego, and in the  case of Ruben, his great-grandfather.  Pablo was born on January 25, 1841 and died in about 1915.  We chose these days to coincide with the La Joya Fiestas. 

We know that our mom and dad and grandparents loved the Fiestas; this was the perfect time for our celebration.  Our journey was supported by our sisters and brothers. 

We are here to place a new headstone and plaque for Pablo Griego at the site designated by Marcello Abeyta, the caretaker of the La Joya Cemetery.  Marcello is also our next door neighbor, and is always welcoming us into us into his house for a short visit, but they usually last a bit longer.  Our grandmother, Alejandra Griego has her own headstone in the La Joya Cemetery.

The headstone is a 250 pound petrified tree which stands about 24 inches tall, and riding with it on the back of my bike was a challenge.  I made three trips for just the cement.  The stone grains are thousands and thousands of years old.  At the base of the petrified tree is a metal plaque measuring 13" x 11" with engraving that reads: 

Pablo Griego, Nacio Jan. 25, 1841.....Murio 1915.  It has the Zia symbol in the center of the plaque representing the circle of life. 

Our ceremony is simple.  We each take turns sprinkling water on the metal plaque which points East and West.  We speak words silently until we complete a full circle, passing the  water bottle to the next -- Robert Griego, then Gilbert Griego, then Elva Esquibel, then Ruben Griego, then Robert Esquibel.

The Zia symbol has beneath it a piece of rock from the original petrified tree and the grains point North and South.  We hope this small piece of wood from the original tree will graft to the new tree before us.  Time will tell.

We honor Pablo Griego and all our families with this ceremony.  Our roots run deeply in La Joya.

Collectively, we traveled 5,395 miles.

Elva and Robert Griego ~ "we honor Pablo Griego"

The La Joya Boys
Robert Griego ~ La Joya cemetery
Robert and Gilbert Griego ~ La Joya cementery
Gilbert and Ruben Griego ~ "we honor Pablo Griego"

Ruben and Robert Griego ~ La Joya cemetery
Gilbert and Robert Griego ~ La Joya cemetery
Ruben, Gilbert, Robert Griego, and Elva Esquibel

Proud to come from La Joya

Day ride out to Mountainair, New Mexico
Ruben, Robert, and Gilbert Griego's bikes ~ ~ Mountainair, New Mexico

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