If you have followed my blog through the years, you might remember my friend Irma. (One of my trips to Mexico actually coincided with one of her trips to her hometown of Jalapa. Alejandro and I drove from Mexico City to Jalapa one weekend to visit her there. Here is a post that I wrote when we took that excursion.)
Irma is one of my oldest friends... and I mean that not just in terms of age, but in the number of years that I have known her. I met Irma in 1970 as a student at Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. She was born and raised in Mexico, and came to live in the United States when she married one of my Spanish professors. She frequently welcomed the Spanish students into their home for get togethers. Later, during my junior year of college, I studied in Mexico, and I took a trip to Jalapa where I met her father, brother, aunts, and other members of her family. After college, on my summer vacations in Mexico, I frequently included Jalapa in my itinerary in order to visit Irma's family.
Irma, still lives in Berea, Ohio, just minutes away from my house. She has three children, one of whom also lives in Berea. Shortly before my most recent trip to Mexico, I received an invitation from her sons to a birthday party to celebrate her 90th birthday. Fortunately the event was scheduled for a date after my return.
You might remember that I wrote a post about a month ago about my visit to one of the handicraft markets in Mexico City. I said that the main purpose of the trip was to buy a birthday present for Irma's party. Of course, I did not mention what I bought, in case she read my blog. Irma for a long time has collected nativity scenes, and on my travels to different countries I have bought her more for the collection. I went to the handicraft market with the intention of buying something that (fingers crossed) that she did not have. The Huichol tribe of western Mexico make objects intricately covered with colored beads, and in one of the market stalls I found a Huichol nativity scene. (Unfortunately, I did not take a photo of it.)
Last weekend was the big birthday party with many of her friends in attendance. It was a wonderful celebration of sweet, loving woman whom I have the privilege of calling my friend. (And she did not already have a Huichol nativity scene in her collection!)