Recently my cousin posted a picture of her mom, my father's sister. Looking at the picture of Tía Clementina, I had a flood of memories of my abuelita...María Santa María de Burke. Until that moment, I don't think I really realize how much I missed her. My Tía was tall woman, she has since gone home to be with Jesus. Actually my father and all his siblings are tall like my abuelo (where I get it from) but my abuelita was a tiny little devout Catholic. I can still remember their apartment in Colón...mainly because I was terrified of that place. The three rooms were as tiny as she was and the bathroom was shared. My abuela was a sweet little lady always trying to feed me and knowing all of maybe two words of English. My abuelo was stern and always trying to get me to nap. I now think it was because I had more energy than he could take and my nap was his quiet TV time. I can still remember my last time seeing her in that apartment with my abuelo, she made pepper steak and white rice at that little stove of hers...it's funny how I can remember that but can't remember what I did last week! (*insert eye rolling here*) After my abuelo passed away, she moved in with my Tío Ivan, I went to visit her there. She was tiny but I can still feel that grip when she held me and called me her beautiful granddaughter. She told me she could wear short skirts like me and would come to America with me. As I'm typing this, I can see her when she came to visit us in NY during my eldest sister's wedding in that robe she wore like a dress. My grandparents have gone on to glory many years now but have been on my mind of late. I never met my mother's mother, she passed away the year I was born. However, my mom did gave me her name and my mom's dad and I were close. I miss my abuelo a lot. Going home and seeing him was a highlight for me. Thomas Hoy was stern with his children but just Papá to us grandchildren. As I sit here, I wish I had taken more pictures not just of, but with my abuelita. When we are young we think we know everything and that time lasts forever, it doesn't. Make a memory, take a picture. Hindsight is 20/20.
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The Panamánian born stylist represents beauty, wisdom, generosity and courage. In spite of these many qualities, she remains humble and treats everyone with kindness and respect. She received her first influences of fashion from her mother, Pearl. As unique as her name, her mom is a rare gem. Well into her 70s and still killing the fashion scene in 3" heels. Ms. Nina has always enjoyed dressing up and parlayed that love of high quality garments into commerce.