On Thursday, November, 13, 2008 a great woman, mother, housewife and above all an incredible human being crossed over. To say she will be missed by her family and friends is an understatement. I write these few words to express the pain I feel and to shed light not so much on how she died, but on how she lived, her strength, her struggle and her love.
I met Sonia Migdalia Rosa 8 years ago when I received an email from a total stranger. Asking me countless questions, I was amazed at how her hunger, that hunger, that we in the Taino world know and understand. She like most of us was interested in the truth and had that burning desire that we have all felt at some point in our lives, to connect to with our ancestors and lift that veil of ignorance imposed upon us.
Sonia was ever soi curios. Asking countless questions, and then coming to her own startling conclusions, she dove deep into the consciousness of our ancestors and reported faithfully on what she observed and felt. At one point in time she became aware of the fact that I held documents regarding the Carlisle 62. These were 62 children of Boricua extraction who were placed in the Carlisle Indian School from 1898 to 1912. She became obsessed and harassed me until I gave up my documents to her. She took the information I provided to another level and in a short time made her own startling discoveries about the subject.
Unlike others who were aware of the story, she was not as concerned as to whether or not the Boricua children who attended the school were Indian or not. She was more interested in the very real human aspect of this story. Like me, she asked herself, how did they sleep at night? Were they afraid? Were they mistreated? What became of them? After tracking down some of their descendants, she reported on what she had learned. Later when she was asked if the children were Taino or not she would answer “ according to DNA studies at least 62 percent of them were.” She was also a poet and wrote poems that I will carry with me forever. Her insights were honest and sincere. She never took a step backward. Striving ever forward, relentlessly, towards the truth.
What I admired most of all was her love for her son Alex and her husband Eliud. She could not stop talking about them and expressing her pride in them. She loved them more than life itself.
Only creator knows why, but she developed breast cancer. Instead of succumbing to it she fought it tooth and nail. I was in awe of her strength and courage. She called her struggle “fighting the good fight.” I believe that she beat it in the sense that she went down fighting like a warrior. Eyes wide open and ready to take up the challenge. I can only wish to be half as powerful and brave as she was.
I miss you Sonia. You were truly a special human being. I miss you will ever know. You were there for me when I needed you most. You taught me to not look at others faults but to look at my own and work at these so that I could become a better human being. I cannot believe that I will never hear your sweet voice again. You were and always will be a special part of my life. I will never forget you and will love you always. I know that you will always be an arms length away from your son. He was your jewel and I cannot begin to imagine the pain that he must feel right now. I promise to be there for him as you were there for me.
I was fortunate to have known you and called you my friend.
I will end this by quoting you:
Understand that this fascination with investigating, preserving, educating, and recognizing the truth about our Taino past has only just begun. This wonderful obsession has governed our lives for so many years. We hope that it converts itself into a slogan of a life transformed by the past. Sonia Migdalia Diaz (Taino) from the island of Boriken.
Please visit her site at: