December 24, 2020 at 12:10PMDecember 24th has always been the most precious of days on the calendar. It is my Grandma Bea’s birthday. On the day she was born, all the flowers were born. Though long since returning to aether, her presence today it ever palpable. She even carried a Christmas tree birthmark on her arm. 🎄 Bea loved sharing her birthday with our family as a way to bring everyone together around the old mahogany round table. We ate the tamales we had made together a few weeks earlier, with the let loose dance, libations and laughter. Wrapping paper would be torn in a squeal of delight and the room would burst forth with new toys for the dozen grandchildren and rent-a-kids. In the earlier days there would be an exquisitely decorated cake with winter scenes made by her master baker friend René. We would sing Las Mañanitas, hopeful for every beautiful morning. Her wrinkly skin so soft and sweet, like a raisin in the sun, reminding us to age in sweetness and let go of all that makes us bitter. Today is precious. I am still unwrapping her gifts and cherishing her smile, the greatest gift she gave me. Beatríz Withrow de Lunar (1921-2003)

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