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A successful woman
became a millionaire
before the age of 40
while raising 11 children
Edited by Linda Montaner
5.5" x 8.5"
Copyright: 2006 by Linda Montaner
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2333 Brickell Avenue,
Miami, FL 33129
the PDF version $4.95
published in less than a month:
Oct. 21, 1990, my mother died at Doctor’s Hospital in Miami at the
end of a three-year illness. Although I realized the inevitability
of that outcome, I had clung to the hope that her life would last a
few more years.
From the day we arrived in exile, various circumstances contributed
to separate me from my parents and siblings. They emigrated to the
center of the United States, to Tennessee, and I and my husband,
Carlos Alberto, to Puerto Rico. In 1970, we moved to Spain, where we
have lived ever since. In the mid-1990s, my mother decided to return
to Miami with my father. He already suffered the degenerative
disease that would keep him bedridden till the day of his death.
After my father died, I thought the time had come for my mother --
who had raised 11 children, looked after her husband, and never
stopped working -- to take long vacations in Spain and the United
States, where the rest of his children lived.
But this wish could never be fulfilled. Two months after my father’s
death, my mother suffered a cardiac infarct and, as a consequence,
her kidneys failed. Dialysis became necessary. This tied her down to
the hospitals in Miami and prevented her from traveling. Her final
years were years of constant worry for me, fearful that I might be
far away if her illness reached a crisis. At that time, my greatest
concern was to board a plane and fly to my mother’s side to make up
for so many years of separation and longing. I tried to be useful to
her, to please her, to make sure that her days were cheerful, to
solve her problems. In some way, I wanted to make up for everything
that we couldn’t share ever since life, and an absurd political
situation, tore us from our homeland.
To me, exile brought family dispersion and separation from the
people I loved most: my siblings and parents. But, despite the
distance, my mother and I were always very close. I believe we had
things in common, which contributed all the more to the trust we
placed in one another. Since childhood, I admired her. I knew she
was an exceptional being, gifted with a natural intelligence and an
instinct for business that would help her go as far as she wanted.
What I witnessed and experienced throughout my childhood was simply
the life of a woman fighting tooth and nail against the windmills
that tried to discourage her. She was a woman who never gave up, a
kind of Don Quixote reincarnate. She achieved almost everything she
set out to do and became a businesswoman and millionaire at the age
of 35, without ever ceasing to be an exceptional mother and wife.
Arriving in exile after leaving her homeland, her business, her
property and a lifetime of work, she rose against adversity.
While in Madrid, I received a call from one of my siblings: Mother
was gravely ill. I took the first plane to Miami. Much to my
distress, by the time I arrived at the hospital my mother was
unconscious and we could not bid each other farewell. Several years
have passed since her departure. I have saved in a drawer several
papers she wrote, where she told about her life, from childhood
until the time she went into exile. I am sure that -- to her
children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and
great-great-grandchildren -- her story will be not only interesting
but also instructive and inspiring. She was a singular woman, a
feminist born ahead of her time.
She also had great character and an overwhelming strength. She was a
human being with an inordinate moral quality and integrity. I shall
never forget her joy of living, nor shall I forget her Christian and
serene acceptance of the inevitable.
I know that the reading of the papers that follow will help us to
better understand and know our mother. This is the story of her
life, told in her own words.