Ana Sisnett, 1952-2009
A small, sweet gathering was held at La Peña to honor Ana Sisnett, the community activist, writer, poet, friend, and leader who passed away Jan. 13 after a three-year battle with ovarian cancer. An altar bearing photos, flowers, copies of Ana's book, Grannie Jus Come! and sweets had been assembled the night before, and those who attended the event gathered before it to share their memories, poetry, and laughter, and yes, tears.
"Oh no," Sisnett's daughter Meredith Sisnett told the assembled. "My mother told us, 'Don't give me one of those sad, sad, everybody crying, funerals!'" Everyone recognized the spirit behind those words, and it was the perfect cue to invite musicians Olivia Prendes and Odaymara Cuesta to perform. The two women, new to Austin, who happened to be from Sisnett's native Panama, were found at a chance meeting earlier in the day. Their spirited, heartfelt singing, accompanied only by conga and rhythm sticks, was the perfect way to send the assembled out into the frigid night, a little warmer than when they arrived.
Below are a few remembrances of Ana. Others are invited to share their memories by clicking on the link below. The thread will remain on the Austin Chronicle site indefinitely.