frog memories

The stories my mom would tell me about Christopher’s father, her first husband, Erasmo, made him an almost mythical figure to me.

She was 18 years old when they met. He was new to LA from Honduras, and she was new from Brooklyn. While they were dating, they would leave their houses at the same time, and walk to meet each other. One day, on her way to meet him, she was stopped and harassed by 3 men in the street. When she started to panic, she looked up, and there was Erasmo, running towards her. When he got to there he knocked one guy out, and chased the rest off. Mom, beside herself (and really impressed), thanked him. He replied, “Mary, I have only my life to give, but I would gladly give it to you.”

Once they were married, Erasmo bought a set of glass frogs for them at Knott’s Berry Farm. She was 21-years old, very pregnant with Chris, and he affectionately dubbed her the one with the big belly.


Every time I visit, I look at them. They were given to a woman I never knew. I can only imagine her as a 1970s hipster, madly in love with a man from Honduras, in a little apartment with succulents in the window, and a son on the way. Life went its own way, but the frogs made it through. They sit as contemplative as they day they were bought. Almost 40 years old, they belong to a time and a place I never was. Keepers of her love stories.

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