Saturday, November 24, 2012

Part of my history...

We spent the weekend before Thanksgiving in Miami's South Beach, celebrating the wedding of my first cousin, Marin, to his beautiful bride, Melissa. It was both an elegant and raucous affair, one that lasted far beyond my bedtime (I'm getting old, apparently), but it was wonderful to spend time with some members of my family I've not seen in years. I even endured the "I haven't seen you since you were this big" remarks. (And I'll admit, leaving the 40-degree temperatures to spend time in South Beach wasn't too bad either!)

The wedding was held at the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach. The Eden Roc has been a fixture on South Beach since the 1950s, visited by legendary celebrities like Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor, and Katharine Hepburn. But I've recently learned that the Eden Roc was part of my history as well.

At the wedding, my uncle Ron (my father's brother) shared two pictures he had found of my beloved grandmother, Gloria, standing in front of the Eden Roc in 1965. I've written before about how important a person my grandmother was to me, so it was incredible to see these pictures—taken four years before I was born—at the very hotel where we were. It was almost as if she were there enjoying the wedding, which I know she would have loved to have done, as her grandchildren were such a treasured part of her life.

Even more incredible, though, was a fact shared by my father, almost in passing. As I've mentioned before, my mother died before I was two years old, and because she died when I was so young, I have no memories of her. My father said that the Eden Roc was where he and my mother went on their honeymoon in 1967. This was a surprise, since this is a subject we never discuss.

My father remarried when I was three, and my mother adopted me shortly thereafter, so I've been lucky to have had two loving parents nearly my entire life. But there was something emotionally, almost physically powerful about walking around the hotel that weekend, knowing that, although the hotel has obviously undergone significant renovations since 1967, I was perhaps walking in some of the same places my mother did then. That is an opportunity I'll truly treasure.

Quite a lot of history packed into a weekend, but a wonderful reason for the history lessons. Congratulations once again, Marin and Melissa!

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