Feliz dia de la madre! August 15th is Mother’s Day in Costa Rica, a day nearly as important as Christmas and Easter. I spent the afternoon celebrating the day with wonderful tico friends, Hugo and Elia. All the siblings in the family brought gifts for their mother, as well as for their sisters and sisters-in-law. The men did all the cooking and serving (the food was delicious!). Elia is a woman I respect and for whom I have great affection. She raised her own children and those of a sister who was unable to take care for her own. She sewed all their clothes and managed to make ends meet on her husband’s meager earnings as a carpenter. Her children have grown to be responsible, respectful adults and they adore their mother.
Some years ago, one of their daughters got divorced and moved back home with her young son. They were welcomed with open arms. Hugo did some remodeling to their home to make things nicer for his daughter and grandson. Another daughter and her husband lived in a tiny apartment Hugo built behind their house. When the parents sold their home, they built a new one on a good sized lot and the daughter who no longer had an apartment to live in, built a house on the same property. Unfortunately, when the family moved, they moved out of my neighborhood. I still miss them, especially when I pass by their old house — now a Chinese restaurant. There never was a time when I’d walk by that my friend wouldn’t holler at me to come in for coffee or lunch if she saw me. How we would laugh and laugh! Through the years, Hugo and Elia have included me in several family events and I feel very fortunate to be considered part of their family.
Happy Mother’s Day, Elia! You deserve it.