My mom will be 96 tomorrow and we had a birthday party for her this past Sunday at her home.
There were the usual gifts of soaps and lotions and sweet-smelling stuff that she so loves. And she was delighted by the turnout and the sentiments expressed.
She received lots of cards filled with love (and cash!). Because she's going to be spending some time in Miami before going to Cuba, we figured she could use it for her upcoming trip.
But this trip is also a Family Reunion. She and her big brother, my Uncle Fernando (98!), who lives in Miami are going to be reuniting with their other three siblings for the first time in 50 years. Although a couple of them have visited from Cuba at different times, the five of them have not been together in the same spot for half a century.
My mom, Luz (we call her Luza) and her brothers and sisters will probably spend most of their time remembering their early childhood and the games they played as young children in Puerto Padre, Cuba. That's their hometown.
So for her birthday, I made a gift, not just for her, but for all five of them for their upcoming reunion.
I made tshirts for each one with the name of their hometown of Puerto Padre. (I also made matching tags out of cardstock, but that's not important right now.) How cool is that? (Thank you. *takes bow*)
I was hesitant at first when I came up with the idea. Tshirts for 90 year olds? I know. It doesn't sound very smart. But I figured these would be a perfect, one-of-a-kind gift for my aunts and uncles, and of course, for my mom.
If I had any doubts, they were quickly wiped away when I saw her reaction and her misty eyes.
She was so excited and proud. She fiercely loves her siblings and their early shared memories are still bright and present in her mind and imagination. She can't wait for all of them to dress alike and be a "clan" once again.
So the Perez-Puelles siblings will be wearing their One-of-a-Kind gifts to their Once-in-a-Lifetime Reunion in Havana next week.
This makes me totally happy.