What I remember the most about Tío Miguel is his sweetness and his smile. He was one of the two brothers who remained in Pica Pica. His house once he was married was a few yards from the big family home.
I remember his wedding. There was a long, long table covered with a white tablecloth and what I thought was a spread of different cakes in addition to the wedding cake in the center, but in the picture I only see one additional cake, maybe multiplied in the eyes of a child who was fascinated by the round silver sprinkles. I was thrilled with my dress. My cousin Lourdes and I discovered that if we bent down we could run back and forth under the table. Then suddenly some grown up stopped our fun, thus my unhappy look in the picture.
Tia Ineida came to Matanzas when their first son, Lazaro, was born. She spent a few days at our house after she left the hospital. It was the first time I saw a mother nursing her baby – it was so sweet!
I remember visiting them for a few days in December of 1957. It was a very cold winter for Cuba, but their home was warm and welcoming just like the two of them.
Mima would use the expression “la mas bella entre las co” (the most beautiful among the co). This inside joke originated from Tio Miguel reading a newspaper article out loud. It was about a beauty contest and he read “la mas bella entre las co.” The article actually said: “La mas bella entre las 60.” He mistook the “6” for a “c.”
His son Lazaro and his family have resided in Miami for the last few years, but I have yet to connect with them. Their youngest son, Pedro Luis, was tragically killed a little over a year ago as he tried to flee Cuba. As it was reported, the boat he was on crashed against a large rock while they were being pursued and everyone aboard was killed. His body was never recovered.
I pray that as his soul ascended to Heaven Tio Miguel was there to greet him with his beautiful, sweet smile.