One of the loving memories of my childhood was the presence of my old aunty Blanca Perez-Prado, an old elegant peruvian Lady from Lima. For sure she was very pretty when she was young, you could see on her face even with her best 70´s. She was very vain, she painted her lips in passion red color lipstick and her three hairs of her eyebrows remarked with very dark black crayon.
On those times, she used to come to our home almost every day, she will stay all day from morning till night, arrived with her usual „chancayes“ for tea and her newspaper under the arm. She spent hours and hours reading the news and its very special section „The Obituaries“
Every week she will find familiar names, and she always find somebody in the list of death people: once it was her ex-colleague from work, or and ex-neighbor, or the neighbor of the neighbor, the cousin of a cousin, the dairy boy, the sweeper man; anyway if we did not know that Aunty Blanca was a little bit crazy we could believe the fact that she knew all Lima people and a bit.
One day whilst reading her usual paper, she screamed: „Oh No! A tragedy has happened! Aunty Pepa is dead!“ That day we were at home just my little brother and I, more lucky we could not be, I thought. „Aunty Pepa is dead“ she repited. „The funeral service is today and we are going“ She took our hands, stopped a taxi and we were towards Barranco, a beautiful Lima neighborhood 30 minuts away from home.
I will never forget this event; hand on hand we were getting closer the coffin, never in my life I saw a real dead person before and i was really scared. There she was, the dead body of a very old lady that I have never seen before in my entire life, so pale and rigid, like in the horror movies. „Oh Pepa, this is so sad, Why you did´nt tell me? She sigh. „But look at Aunty Pepa, even dead she is looking very pretty, my best friend Pepa, as we called her. She was my friend of school , Josefa Barrios from Chiclayo, will never forget you“ she sobbed whist pressing our hands very hard. „I want you children to remember her, just like she is now, very pretty, look at her and how lovely they did her make up, lovely lips color, and the blue eyeshadows! Oh, Pepa, you always so chic! „
Years after, my brother and I will remeber this episode at aunty´s Blanca funeral, as was her last wish before she died, she also had a lovely make up: lips and nails painted in red passion color, faked eyelashes and a blue navy eyeshadow on her eyes. We will remember than like Aunty Pepa, she also passed away in a very stylish way, as we peruvians say: Looks & brains right up to the grave
The curious thing of the event was the note in one of the flowers arrangement that said:
„ Blanquita, my dearest friend, I will badly miss you. Your friend forever: Josefa „Pepa“ Barrios y familia from Chiclayo“
Note: Chancay is a typical peruvian cake from Chancay district.
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