Imagine three girls. Their parents die of the flu. They live together in a boarding school, and visit with their aunt once a month. Their brother is down the road at the boys' school, but they don't get to see him until they are 16. When they turn 18, they leave the orphanage and move back to San Francisco and live together in a flat in the Mission District. They find work. They buy a house together in a new development out near the ocean beach.
One evening they get a visit from a policeman. Knocking on the front door, he comes to tell them that their aunt, the aunt who had worked so hard to put them through boarding school, who had been their only lifeline, apart from each other, the only reminder they ever had of their parents, had died. Stepping off of the streetcar on the way home, she had been hit by a car. They mourn again.
They meet young men. They marry and celebrate their new lives together, close, separate. They branch out and buy homes, all within two blocks of each other.
Their families grow. Cancer strikes. One boy becomes ill and dies. Another young girl is born. They are together and care for each other.
Sickness strikes again. They come together to care for the children. Life goes on.
The children get married. Some of them go away to war. They come back and the grandchildren begin to arrive.
Imagine the time passing.
There is love, there is family, there is food, there are parties, there are friends, there are weddings, there are baptisms, there are drinks, there are travels.
The funerals begin. Kate goes first. Then Helen. Dorothy is the last one, and she watches over all of us. Mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, matriarch to all.
Perhaps she suffered more, watching so many go before her. And perhaps she loved more, she had us all to herself the longest.
A zaguán is the entryway into a house. In typical Andalusian houses, the zaguán is a smallish, dark passage inside the doorway that leads in turn to the larger, light-filled interior patio. In Seville, in the heat of summer, zaguán doors are left open so that passersby can take refuge from the sun and heat for a moment before continuing on their way.
We live in the Sunset district of San Francisco, where the fog wins out over the sun most days, and the search for refuge from the heat is a distant memory. Even so, we would like to share our home with you and our stories of growing up in Seville and growing up in San Francisco.