Because I live in a Parallel Universe (in which ninety is the new fifty)

I often get asked these two questions:
"Do you still have family in Cuba?" and "Have you ever been back?"
The answers are yes and no.

In August of 2002 we hosted a family reunion here in Mission Viejo.   Three of my mom's four siblings were able to come - two of them traveling from Cuba and one from Miami.  There was also a childhood (their childhood!!) friend of the family who now lives in Puerto Rico who made the trip for the reunion.

At that time we thought that it would probably be their last hurrah.  After all, they were all in their late eighties.  And the distances and hassles of octogenarians traveling in between the two countries could be quite daunting. . . yada, yada. 

Well, I don't know what kind of wood these people are carved from, but I sure hope some of it is in my DNA because, get this. . .

We're preparing for another Cuban invasion.  They're coming back!  In fact, they'll be here next month.  And they're in their NINETIES now, people!

My mom is super dialed-up and is on the phone a dozen times a day to remind us (again!) of yet another detail she's remembered.  And . . .well . . . she's 93,  you know.  So we end up having the same conversation a few times a day. 

Even though I'm genuinely looking forward to seeing the extended fam again, my mom has an endless "to-do" list for me (because she thinks I can do anything, and yes, it's flattering, but it's starting to tax my energy a bit - and oh yeah! that was a total understatement, but that's not important right now =D).  She'll be with us this weekend which means. . .

well, you can imagine what it means. . .

If you're reading this, please send valium.  Big, Fat Cuban Family-size valium.  Please.  ;-)