Apr 30, 2014

Billy the Buddha and Aunt Beatriz ~

~ Billy theBuddha ~ 

Today I was putting the kitchen back in order, the floors refinished on Monday and Tuesday, everything had to be moved out.

The figure in the photo, Billy the Buddha has sat on top of the refrigerator for many, many years. He used to belong to my Aunt Beatriz Varon, my Grandma Chichi's sister, in Panama.

Aunt Beatriz was a one of a kind woman.  She was a very cool Aunt, she and my Grandma Chichi loved each other very much.

1_ She was my Grandma's younger sister, by 30 days.  Both had the same Father and different Mothers.  Grandma Chichi was born on November 17th and Aunt Beatriz on December 17th.  When they were growing up they lived in the same house.  Aunt Beatriz contended all her life that my Grandma got preferential treatment because her Mom was the wife, vs. Aunt Beatriz's Mom, was the other woman in the relationship. Their Father, General Ruben Varon.

2_Aunt Beatriz was the last to pass of her siblings and friends. She outlived my DAD, so my brother, Roger managed her care in Panama until she died, she was 97.

3_ Aunt Beatriz never drove a car, never learned how to drive, said she was not interested.

4_ Aunt Beatriz never wore slacks !

5_ Aunt Beatriz had a son, Frank Aleman, who died before she did.  He lived his adult life in New York. Uncle Frank had a senior position at GM.  He loved fancy cars and fancy horses. One of his famous stories, he sold a favorite stallion to Elizabeth Taylor.

6_ Aunt Beatriz went to Catholic mass every day of her adult life, EVERYDAY at 6am.  She was devout in her love and faith in God.

7_ Aunt Beatriz made the best CARIMANOLAS ever ! Little yucca balls, deep fried, stuffed with beef.  She also made great coconut rice.

8_ Aunt Beatriz never ate seconds, her secret to staying thin.

9_ Aunt Beatriz worked at the Museo Nacional de Panama.

10_ Aunt Beatriz had a great sense of humor and was feisty.

11_ When she was in the last years of her life, her eyes turned light blue. In a poem I wrote about her,  I referred to them as " her blue lake eyes."  The heavens indeed were calling her home.

When she knew she was moving out of her apartment in Panama, she would ask when visited if we wanted something from her home.  On one of those occasions I told her I would take the whimsical Buddha and find a place for him.

For many years Billy has sported different hats and sunglasses. Today I had to dust him off and clean his hat - hence the photo and all the memories of my dear Aunt Beatriz.

I am not sure where my Aunt got the Buddha figure or how long she had it before he made his way from Panama to Atlanta.

I know one day Billy will move on, the memories of my Aunt Beatriz, will forever be in my heart. 

Elena, Aunt Beatriz and Toby circa 2005