Wonder Woman has some stiff completion.
Daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend, aunt, wife and mother and she fulfills each of these roles with the practical perfection that only some in this life can aspire to achieve.
In Spanish, her name is synonymous with accomplishments of great daring – again, like Wonder Woman, these feats are often amazonian in nature.
She is known to the world by her inimitable giggle, kind heart and always positive nature, sharing her benevolence of spirit with children, the elderly and anyone in between who happens to cross her path.
We are bound by blood, children of siblings long deceased, but we also share the distinction of truly being in our right minds (because we are both lefties). In times of family crisis, we often wonder WWBD, knowing that her seal of approval on an action guarantees acceptance from most of the family (Yes, RJE – I said most!).
As a mother, she nurtures, guides and has helped develop three very productive human beings, each inheriting distinct traits so very connected to her persona – the influence of her rearing is tangible, palpable and clearly evident in the smiles of her children.
She lights up a room with her presence, her quick wit and her almost childlike behavior when in a group of friends, a cluster of close relatives or a hearty Merlot.
In her household she is a powerhouse, conjuring up meals in minutes, whipping up the best Cafe-con-Leche in mere seconds and providing hours on end of the warmest hospitality anyone could be lucky enough to enjoy.
Barbara, to coin a phrase, is like buttah.
My wife and I have many a good memory of great times spent with her and always make time to see her when in New York, her new hangout in this latter part of her life.
And speaking of life, from the outside looking in, it truly looks like it’s been a wonderful one so far with its share of challenges and immeasurable rewards that define who she is and who she will be in the many years to come.
So today, as my cousin Barbara embraces fifty with the fervor and energy she gives to everything else in life, I’m sure she is smiling, laughing and yes, she is giggling.
It’s an inimitable giggle which is infectious and far reaching across the miles between New Jersey and Florida.
It is the giggle of a Pied Piper, a Wonder Woman and someone whose presence is very important to me. And while I like to take my days Juan at a time, today is not about me.
Today it’s all about Barbara.
And at fifty, she’s still like buttah – only bettah.