- The colors they want to use through out the event
- What beautiful ball gown they will wear
- What special people she will have as her honorable court
- What her big entrance will be like
This night is also consisted of many traditional practices. For example, the quinceañera wears flat shoes through out the night and then has her father replace those shoes with high heels. Her mother also gives her last doll as a symbol of her innocence. This symbolizes the passage of the young girls childhood into becoming a woman.
My Magical Night
April 3, 2010 my day had finally arrived. All the planning and hard work has paid off for this special day. Today was the day that I would become a woman. My day started bright and early. All the finishing touches had to be done before we could begin to prepare ourselves. Metal trees with purple flowers and butterflies were placed at the center of each table. White sheets placed over the chairs topped with a lilac tool bow. Tied around the back. The cake had violet ribbon wrapped around all three tiers and silver pearls that covered each side. Purple flowers petals surrounded the cake as well as the precious moments doll my mother had made for me to be given to me as my last doll. After placing all the last minute decorations my family and I started to get ready. My first stop was the beauty salon. I had my hair and make-up done. My hair was done in half-up half-down hairstyle with curls and make-up consisted of soft lilac eye shadow. My last step was to finally put my dress on. My dress was huge ball gown with a purple rhinestone and beaded corset. I truly did feel like a princess.
As guest arrived, I greeted each person with a tight huge, kiss on the cheek and thanked him or her for sharing this special day with me. “You look Beautiful” they would say as I smiled with my big ruby red cheeks. All the people that I had invited attended. My best friends from my middle school and high school, each and every one of my close relatives, and all the family friends that have always been there for us. All ten tables were taken with exactly ten guests. My night had just begun.
A Dance with my Dad
The moment I danced with my father was magical and memorable. We danced the waltz to a song in spanish called “ Quinceañera”. My mom and dad specifically chose that song for the father and daughter dance. The song is about a father who sings the song to his daughter who is turning fifteen. The meaning of the song fit perfect with the dance we shared. But the best part was hearing my father sing the song in my ear as we shared our magical dance together.
“Hoy es un dia muy especial para ti mi niña."
"Today is a very special day for you my daughter."
My quinceañera was the best night of my life. I was able to share this huge celebration with the people I loved. My night was filled with nothing but joy and happiness. I thank my family for really making my night special. They wanted me to have the best time of my life as much I did too. My dream as a young girl had come true. I finally had the opportunity to pick:
- the colors I wanted
- the beautiful dress I fell in love with
- arriving on a blue BMW convertible. As the singer Selena Quintanilla (Famous Hispanic Texan singer) did at her last concert in Texas.
- the opportunity to dance with my father as I always wished for.
- Most of all it was the last night I truly got to spend an unforgettable with my family and friends.
The one thing that has always reminded me of that magical night was the black dress my mom wore. She wore a long elegant black dress with a hot pink satin material at the waist. The one person who shared the same happiness as me on the night of my quince was my mother. The whole night she had a huge smile on her face and enjoyed herself to the fullest.
I can remember the day we went to buy her dress. We drove to Downtown Los Angeles to visit all the dress shops. We spent the whole day there and she narrowed her choices to two dresses. A black satin dress with a low cut in the front or the black dress with hot pink on the waist.
I told her “But I’m wearing a strapless dress, do you want to wear one too?”
From the moment that she put it on I could see how much loved the dress. It choice became easier and easier the more she stared at herself in the black dress. From that moment on I didn’t realize how much simple black dress would affect me through out my life.
As I walk by the black dress hung in my mom’s closet I smile and reminisce the wonderful unforgettable memories of my quince. The dress reminded me of the joyful night I shared with my mom. Her dress placed me in that night of all dancing, all the joyful tears, and the unforgettable moments. That simple dress reminded me of the best night of my life.
The Worst Night of my Life
Without knowing her life was coming to an end. No one had expected such tragic news. How could this happen to her? My life became incomplete. We just had and unforgettable night and now we had to suffer with this pain. I have never seen my family suffer so much. We weren’t ready to let go. It was too soon to say good-bye. I wasn’t ready to let go of the most important person in my life.
At 7:05 pm of November 18, 2010 I saw my mom take her last breath. My mom laid on her rest bed surrounded by family and me. More than twenty people crammed the small bedroom. The room was filled with tears and pain. No words were said.
Eight months after my quinceañera I lost my mother to stage four stomach cancer. We were told of her diagnosis two days after my celebration. For eight long months my mom suffered this horrify disease. Each day she fought more and more to remain with us for a little bit longer
About two days later the funeral planning began. My aunt and uncle began to notify everyone when the burial would be held. The day before thanksgiving the burial was going to be held. The one important question I was asked was,
“What will she wear?”
And of course it was the elegant black dress that reminded me of wonderful memories. We all knew that, that black dress would have been her choice.
Happiness and Sadness
The day of her viewing was the last time I ever saw her and the black dress. I don’t see that black dress hung in mom’s closet anymore. That dress doesn’t bring anything but horrific memories.
Now that dress only reminds me of her death and the last time I saw her. All the wonderful memories were taken away. That Black dress has shown me the beauty of life and the pain of death. I saw my mom’s beauty and rejoice in that dress as well as the sufferings she faced. The same dress that brought happiness now brings me sadness. That black dress followed me to my good times and my bad times. As I have learned to cope with my mother’s death I’ve tried to restore the beauty in the dress. The dress has only been seen as painful but without that dress I wouldn’t be reminded of the wonderful night I had spent with my mom.
Photo Courtesy: Xiomara Arnao
Xiomara Arnao is a student at California state University of Northridge. She dreams of one day becoming a nurse and helping those in need.