Florita Santaballa was my father’s cousin and we called her Tía Florita.  She and her husband Alejo were very dear to us.  Her brother Jose Santaballa (Tío Pepito) was married to my aunt Irmina.  As a little girl it was a mystery to me how Florita and Irmina could be cousins yet Pepito and Irmina were not cousins.  It also took years to find out that Luisita Santaballa (their sister) and her family were not related to us since they were very close to my family.  The explanation is quite simple.  Jose Santaballa, a widower with three children (Pepito, Virginia and Luisita), married my father’s aunt Pastora and they had one daughter – Florita.

Our bond with the Santaballas, those related by blood and their extended family, is very strong and one of the many blessings in my life.

 From left to right:  Maria Luisa (Viva), Irmina, Jose Santaballa, Flora, Florita, Irene (Chunita). – sitting Pastora

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