An older Fina…

Boarding school: working part-time with early morning hours in bakery. Fina learned to smoke cigarettes, here.
Later, ice crème delivered to Fina’s room, nearly every night, by boarding house owner.  Sometimes, Fina feigned sleeping, so she would not have eat ice crème, again.

In Yabucoa Plaza, recognizing a dirt-covered worker from father’s ranch, rushing over to give him a big hug and then asking him to send a  message  back home to father. Later, Fina’s friends were appalled that Fina would get herself dirty to embrace a filthy farm worker. For Fina, the workers and their children were extended family…she never gave it a second thought, embracing him.

Question from mother Santos, to Fina (the oldest girl) and her sisters: What would you want, to see me die 1st, or would you want to die before me? Her six sisters always answered: “We want to die first, Mama”!  But Fina, the last to answer, always said “You die first. I want to live”!

Santos had gold coin collection, and later thought  the coins were stolen by local  priest. It was the same priest who refused to marry Fina in her church, because her husband to-be had been married twice before, violating church rules disallowing multiple marriages. Fina told him she  was marrying Roberto anyway.  The priest told Fina she would burn in Hell.  Fina replied ” well, I’ll see you there”. Then, her priest angerly warned Fina to stop  driving  her Ford Mustang convertible much too fast  around Yabucoa’s town square.  That was not going to end…these were just practice  runs for Fina.  After moving to the Canal Zone,  Fina, more than once, was  chased by Panamanian authorities , when she failed to stop at a local police check point .  Her high-powered Mustang, speeding away, was way too fast for the police to catch-up.

Visiting her grandmother Marcolina,  who cared for a disabled uncle (Francisco), who lived in her house.  Later, while attending the wake for her deceased grandfather Ingino,  her grandmother celebrated grandly with a meal happily eaten w/o him there…thankfully, his ashes were not flushed-down the toilet. ( Fina witnessed this on one occasion, watching the event while the delighted widow Maria, flushed the remains.)

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