La Verne Magazine
Winter 2001


From the Editor...

by Alisha Rosas

To survive something, one may assume, would be to overcome an obstacle, laugh in the face of a difficult setback, and, afterward, stand on a mountain of self worth, squirming with pride.

I, however, sense nothing of that scenario in terms of survival. If there is one thing that links human beings to one another, it is our emotions. Similar encumbrances that allow our eyes to water when someone near is crying, and our sorrow to go out toward someone in need prove the strong resemblances of our struggles, tears and hearts.

However, many stories, tales and lifetimes of the living are never told. When a family member dies, people pat the nearest family member on the back, hold her hand and breath into her hair while whispering how very sorry they are at her loss. Never did they know the deceased person, her achievements or life. Only words represent sorrow, never anything more detailed or complete.

I do not have a grandma anymore. This year, heart failure took her from me. Never had I imagined "surviving" without her, the woman who taught me about God, pride and about loving people despite their flaws and limitations. Now, an empty hole resides within my heart, eating at me sometimes for days. However, I have her story, her life and her expectations for me, in my soul. I captured her voice on tape and my photographs of her hang in every corner of my home. The one thing we should acquire from other's difficult times should be to retain memory.

The following stories in La Verne Magazine have been given their just honor. Forever published, something about every person in this magazine will never die. When their time on earth has passed, something will remain. Perhaps only words, but it is their words, lives and experiences kept alive through the publication in your hands. The true survivor is not the person who looks back on incidents and laughs in glory, but the one who looks back and learns.

Gift upon gift can be given through a story, a lesson, a tear-entwining and linking us through lifetime experiences. It is the secrets of war, spilt-second decisions, the keys to a happy marriage, lessons learned, traditions, friendships, and trials and tribulations that prove that life is not about survival, but, instead, life is about the capacity one has to endure emotions. It is only about how much one can take in, or how much one can care that really matters and separates the weak from the strong.

My "Gram" told me that family, love and faith are the three things that bring happiness in life. She was married 57 years and grew more beautiful with every year of her 75 years on this earth. Perhaps someday, when I am lost and need help finding my way, I will replay her words in my mind, remember her documented story and decide what to do with myself. To the survivor in me, the survivor in you and those in this magazine, I dedicate this publication to my grandmother, Rosie Moreno Rosas, who will always help me find my way.