I am back!!
It seems impossible that my last posts were in March after our Cuba trip, since then so much has filled my days, consequently summer is almost half over and I have so much to share with you all. It has been a remarkable year, many milestones in travel and in family life. I hope you enjoy this post and the ones to come…so here we go!
First on my mind is sharing my mom’s (mami) 90th. Birthday with those of you that did not have the opportunity to share the celebration with us.
Carmen Gudelia Velez Maldonado came to this country as a young woman looking for a new life for her and her extended family. (Above you can see the photo of her as a 19 year old girl and a current photo of her.)
I would like to share a brief history with everyone, as I believe her story is one that many, many families in the country can relate to. Kudos go to my uncle Jose Martin Velez and his bride Virginia who made it possible for my maternal family to make their home in the USA. Below is a photo of my uncle with my grandmother Alejandrina and my grandfather Jose. Also my uncle Joe on his wedding day with his beautiful bride, my aunt Virginia. As you can see he served in our country’s military and was very proud of it!
My mother was the first of her siblings to come to this country after my uncle Joe invited her to come stay with him and his new bride. Their story involves many days and months of hard work and saving every dollar to provide the means for the rest of the family to come to the States. My father even played a pivotal role in bringing some of the youngest members of the family across the country from New York to California, where they would eventually settled. ( He was 20 years old and escorted three small boys, by bus to their final destination, all to impress his future bride I am sure). Yes, my uncle also had a hand in bringing my parents together as he was friends in the military with my dad’s eldest brother David Maldonado. Bonds establish quickly and firmly within their community. All their lives have been rich and full with all the highs and lows of immigrants speaking another language and leaving their beloved Puerto Rico for a new land. Their legacy, strength, perseverance and faith gives me so much to be proud of…So here we are celebrating my mom’s 90th year!!
Left to right: Orlando and Ruth, Mike and Nilda, Danny and Alma, Osvaldo and Nancy. My three handsome and amazing brothers! Each on their own journey and me the oldest and only girl. We are so proud to have the parents we had, parents who instilled in us values of hard work, love of family, and living the American dream!
Left to right: Iris, Lydia, Mom, Clara, Juana, and Emma.
It was a remarkable day! Here you see my mom with all her sisters. The only one missing is the oldest Maria who passed away in her 90’s. As well as uncle Joe who passed away first of all the siblings.
The party included, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, cousins, aunts and uncles. We had a beautiful day and felt tremendous gratitude recognizing we are totally blessed to have my mom with us still!