September 20, 2011

La Tata

La Tata- Tatarabuela, Great Great grandmother of my grandchildren, Great grandmother of my trio, grandmother to Babushka, mother of mi Padre. Wow- that's a lot of mothering and a lot of love.

But if you think this was a typical stay at home kind of mothering - JU SO FONII !!!

Born in Cuba, in the Province of Oriente, she was the second youngest of twelve. Always with fire and liking the finer things, she was nicknamed "La Faraona" (the Pharoah) by her siblings; little did they know how well that was going to help them all. Her take charge "it's gotta be done" attitude helped her survive and succeed in a life that seems almost made for TV.

In a place and time when women didn't work outside the home, she was a single mom raising her son by selling insurance policies door to door. Her tenacity captured the heart and hand of a Count, but when he became too strict with her boy she kicked the Count to the curb. Sensing the political unrest on the island , she refused to let the new government indoctrinate her teen, so she left her beloved family and headed to the US- just her and her son. Arriving in New York she found the immigrants life, working in factories and learning the language, but she also found love. Marrying "Nonno", a handsome Sicilian with a talent for cooking, they scrimped together enough to open a restaurant in The Village. Thanks to their hard work and love of family, they were able to bring most of her siblings and their families from Cuba.

But as in all good novelas, the union was not to last, and though it was true love they had to go their separate ways. By this time they had moved to Miami, he had opened another restaurant and she decided she wanted music and distraction- so she opened a nightclub. Again, ahead of her time, in a man's world, she was the owner of the club, while wearing long sequinced gowns with a gun holder under the plumes. It was Miami in the 80's, Cocaine Cowboys had the bucks, but they didn't get to ride in her saloon.

Didn't I tell you this would be a great mini series ?!?!

Bueno, para no cansarte, she made it through the 80's and now is almost in her 90's. Legally papers say she's 87 pero en realidad they didn't keep the best of records in her little town in Cuba and she's 2 years older. ¿Viste? She's still living a story- and I'm grateful to be there to listen.

Babushka Besos a todos. Cuidensen

Bohemian Babushka
Bohemian Babushka

Groovy Spanglish speaking Grandma of 6 who loves life and all its adventures. Motivational while still keeping it real, Babushka shows how all things looked at with gratitude are good, and how to say to la vida- JU SO FONII!!!


  1. She sounds like an amazing woman and I am thrilled you still have her around to enjoy. She seems so unlike the imigrants of today who want everything handed to them on a platter. "God Bless you Tata" are the picture what this country was built on. People should learn from your example. Thank you for the inspirational novella BB. First rate!

    1. Dear Luis- We just finished putting things away from the surprise 90th birthday party (yes I know, it's almost 11:00 pm-I had to force her to go home)and I read La Tata your comment. She couldn't stop smiling and said "eso completo un dia perfecto". Thank you for putting the finishing touch on her day. Mil Gracias. BB2U


Always remember- If someone doesn't see YOUR brilliance, just look at them, smile, and say- JU SO FONI!!!