This blog is full of Tia Cary stories. She was the ultimate practical joker and often she liked to stretch the truth when telling a story specially if it would make it more interesting. This made fairy tales much more exciting and listening to her would be fascinating because she told them as if she had actually been there witnessing the magic and the fantasy.
She was married to Luis Hernandez and when I was little they lived in the country in a place called El Sordo. Tio Luis was very sweet and he used to tell me that somewhere in the field there was a doll tree. There were blonde dolls, dark haired dolls, all with beautiful dresses in different colors and if you could get there, you could pick any doll you wanted. I never quite believed him, but I did wish it were true. They later moved to Havana where Tio Luis bought a grocery store.
When we went to Havana for my cousin Teresita’s wedding on the way we stopped at Tia Cary’s house. My cousin Adria was with us. Her beautiful dress was black and a shade of dark pink, almost red. Tia Cary kept looking at her dress and said – “I have the perfect purse for that dress, it matches the color exactly! I will get it for you.” Adria hesitated, she had a very nice black evening purse and she told her not to bother, that the one she had was fine. Tia Cary insisted that the match was so perfect that it would be a shame for her not to use it. Adria reluctantly gave in and Tia Cary went to her bedroom to get the purse. She came back with a huge straw purse, more like a tote bag – but she was right – the color was a perfect match. Adria was stunned and did not know what to say and was very relieved when Tia Cary burst out laughing.
Tio Luis passed away before they could get to the U.S. Eventually my mother was able to arrange for Tia Cary to come. My mother had no patience for her tall tales. I found them most entertaining and I would tell her to just listen, but Mima would argue and correct her distorted memories. They both had a passion for baseball and often would watch games “together” over the phone.
Tia Cary was resourceful and strong willed. She had no children of her own. Tia Berta’s daughter Lourdes was her godchild and a better godchild would be hard to find. She dealt with her in her later and difficult years. It would baffle my mother, how Tia Cary in her mid 80’s could have such grand plans for her return to Cuba after Castro was gone.
Tia Cary was a difficult but generous soul and a most interesting character. Her fantastic sense of humor still brings a smile to my face.
* See Tia Milagros post.