Mr.Tennis' Panamanian grandmother would be celebrating her 100th birthday today. I first met her in 1979 when I took a summer trip to Panama with Mr. T to meet his family. Her welcoming warmth just eminated from her. Although we had a language barrier, we managed to communicate our mutual admiration.
Tita, enjoying the "fresca" atmosphere of camping in the keys in 1982.
Tita and her "little" grandson, Mr. Tennis in July 1979 when I first met this wonderful woman.
Mr. T and Tita Christmas 1998 in El Valle. This was the last time we visited with Tita and it was such a wonderful, relaxing Christmas.
To Mr. Tennis and his brothers, she was Abuela, but to the great-grandchildren that eventually came along, she was "Tita". Our Neice Chelsea was the first to call her this easier-to-pronounce name, and from then on she reigned as Tita.
College graduation March 1981
Tita, me and Gramps before graduation 1981
Tita was determined that Mr. Tennis and I start a family rather soon after getting married. We wanted to wait a few years so we could get on our feet financially. This did not deter Tita from dropping hints, or should I say baby shirts by our house every so often. Our first Christmas after we got married I received a hand-knitted pair of baby booties from the ever-optimistic Tita.
The Writer and Tita circa 1987
Tita was in Orlando for both of our children's births. She loved them both instantly and thought they were the most brilliant children on the face of the earth. She would cup their faces in her hands and tell them wonderful things about themselves in Spanish. She used to sing a song to them when they were very small that I still remember:" Un barquita, chiquitito..." They loved to sing that with her.
At the Market in El Valle 1998. The Writer, Orlando Grandma,
The Maven, Me and Tita