Monday, August 15, 2011


The Twins
     Her given name was Belinda, which means beautiful, and anyone who was fortunate enough to have crossed her path, knows that she lived up to that name. She had an hourglass figure, hair like Gloria Estefan, and large, mahogany eyes that lit up like moonbeams when she was happy. But 'Linda’s' beauty was not only on the surface, it seeped into her pores and wound itself tightly around her inner core. She was a kind, loyal, devoted, and generous friend, who came into my life, and left me with a plethora of marvelous memories that I will forever cherish.

Me as Linda on Halloween
     Linda and I connected over our love of dance. In fact, we met on a Country Line Dance Team in the mid ‘90s, while strutting our stuff to the tunes of the hot, new, country music star Alan Jackson, et al. We became BFF’s, almost inseparable.  Soon we branched out, allying ourselves with two other girls to create “The Mambo Girls”—a Latin dance team. When we weren’t on stage, we could be found in the center of the dance floor at one our favorite clubs. Many nights Linda and I suited up in matching dresses and we would dance into the wee hours. We earned us the nickname “The Twins,” in some circles, which was ironic since we were opposites, with my eyes and hair as light as hers were dark.
    Over the years, Linda became more than a friend, she became a sister to me. We vacationed together with our kids. We celebrated our birthdays together—we were both born in August. We shared hopes and dreams and even a few tears. Unfortunately, life got in the way, and we drifted apart.
     I married. Linda did the same, moving three states away.
Three of The Mambo Girls reunite Me, Linda, and Elsa
     For almost ten years, we never spoke, though, I'd heard tidbits about her life through mutual friends. Then, in summer of 2009, both older and wiser, we reunited. For the remainder of the year, we worked on rebuilding the friendship we had so recklessly tossed away. We vowed to get together every summer, for no less than a week. Linda was back in my life, and life was good.      
     I wish I could end this story differently, but this story is real life, not fiction. The reunion of our second summer was never to be. Linda passed away just over a year ago. Many of  us were unaware she was sick, but that was Linda style. She was a proud, strong, Puertorriquena, and she dealt with her problems head on and in a private manner. Linda would not have wanted me or any of her friends to pity her. And I do not pity her, but I do miss her. I only hope that while she was here, I touched her life as much as she has touched mine.
     Happy Birthday Linda! I will look for you tonight dancing amongst the stars.
Your friend Sue.
Linda's pride and joy. She inherited her
mom's eyes and her smile.


Over 100 strong.

Recent Visitors