Emilia Calderon

A beautiful soul. Troubled and hurting, but endlessly loving and caring. The most beautiful smile anyone has ever seen. Funny, with a laugh so pure it made the angels smile. She puts her family before everything, even herself, even when she’s hurting and tired. She loves with a force that can’t be compared to anything, and everyone feels it. She is outgoing and friendly, but cautious and watchful. She can fill your heart with one look, and empty it with another. She is religious and beautiful, prays every day for everyone she loves, and even those she doesn’t. A strong woman with a heart of gold who is determined, powerful, radiant. Describing my abuela for you is a difficult task, as Whitman would say, she contains multitudes. At the end of the day I believe her most defining characteristic is the love she gave her family. She let us all know how special and capable we are, and expected nothing in return. She is my heart. Maria Calderon


I always remember that my grandmother had a face that made strangers want to talk to her. Fellow passengers on the bus, janitors cleaning up around her at the mall food court. People would see her and strike up a conversation with her on the spot. Lala made such a mark on the world, and on everyone around her. Even if they didn’t even know her. I will remember her with all the love she gave to us. Amanda Calderon Tharoor