Lilia Cordova obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Lilia Cordova

February 9, 1924 - June 14, 2017

Obituary


Eulogy Lilia Córdova Brú, St. Agnes Church, Key Biscayne, Florida, June 23, 2017 given by Gonzalo Córdova



Thank you to everyone that came to celebrate my Mom’s mass today. Y muchas gracias especialmente a las personas aqui presentes que cuidaron a mi Mamá, Mirna y Maria Luisa.



My Mom always said she grew up in a very loving family and never caused any problems to her parents. She was an excellent student, a fine bowler, and swimmer. She was a great dancer, loved music and grew up to be a fine, attractive lady,...

Eulogy Lilia Córdova Brú, St. Agnes Church, Key Biscayne, Florida, June 23, 2017 given by Gonzalo Córdova



Thank you to everyone that came to celebrate my Mom’s mass today. Y muchas gracias especialmente a las personas aqui presentes que cuidaron a mi Mamá, Mirna y Maria Luisa.



My Mom always said she grew up in a very loving family and never caused any problems to her parents. She was an excellent student, a fine bowler, and swimmer. She was a great dancer, loved music and grew up to be a fine, attractive lady, and had many suitors. She excelled in law school at the University of La Habana, with her transcript showing grades of “sobresaliente” almost across the board, in other words she was a straight “A” student.



She was known as “La Doctora”. My father was the lucky one to make the amazing catch, certainly what he would describe as a “pollo”. They went on a three month honeymoon to Europe. They experienced a fire in a hotel, in which I was told my father was the first to leave the room and he also got quite sick eating German sausages, but my Mom was the calm one and saw him through the eventful trip. Her gentle smile, kind manner and faith in patience conquering all were already shining through.



She worked at the Cuban census bureau supporting the young family and I know she was already quite independent driving her grey Peugeot 403 (the same car driven by the screen character Colombo) around Havana.



In exile, I remember the stories in Puerto Rico of my Mom as an aspiring cook nervously trying to salvage spaghettis from going down the drain to preserve the available resources.



The household picked up and went to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York where she supported my father’s grueling studies, working in the Latin American acquisitions department of Cornell’s main Olin Library. She loved bundling up and trudging through the snow with her boots and learned to love the cold climates she said suited her best and was her natural world.



This led to being comfortable in the family’s next stop in Geneva, where my parents had already been multiple times in the 1950’s. By then, her cooking skills had developed wonderfully, helping her to entertain many friends and my father’s colleagues of multiple nationalities. She enthusiastically took up exercise classes. She loved vacations in the mountains and traveled extensively with my father. But she loved her independence, scooting around town on Geneva’s efficient public transport system to make many shopping finds throughout the city. This led to building a fine home where she also loved caring for her Siamese cat, Tina.



On our way across the Atlantic for the first time for me at twelve years old on board the SS Rotterdam en route to a new and undiscovered world, I remember a picture of her looking over protectively at me at a formal dinner wearing my first jacket. She always reminded to stay calm, take care of myself and keep trying as there would always be many other challenging situations ahead.



After my father’s retirement in Geneva, she accompanied him to further work adventures in Sao Paolo, Brazil for anew year of homemaking and discovery and making many friends in that hospitable country. As they were completing the circle, they spent a semester at the University of Puerto Rico before finally returning home to Key Biscayne, where they had made many visits before.



While my father remained active in his academic and writing pursuits, she supported him and accompanied him in more travels, even yearly summer trips to Europe, included prolonged stays in Spain, which they continued into their 80’s. But she also found her own groove in Key Biscayne making many friends in her exercise classes which she did until she was nearly 80 and going on many shopping jaunts around town with friends and her neighbor and sister-in-law Lourdes. She was also a well-known morning visitor to drink her beloved “cafecito” at the Oasis where she is still remembered fondly. For many years, she also attended daily early morning mass at St. Agnes.



Her independence and wit were never lost on her friends. She declared and unofficial sit-down strike (“huelga de brazos caídos”) against excessive house work in her 80’s, leading my father to take her to regular lunch outings throughout town with a special preference for Xixón and Delicias de España.



Even in her illness, she was graceful and peaceful but never lost her fighting spirit putting up her fists and showing her teeth saying she gong to punch her caregivers and send to “_____” if they did too much to her. Even on May 1 this year, listening to a rebroadcast radio program on Radio Paz, of my father, a knowledgeable and renowned expert on labor issues, on the significance of this celebration of labor, her comment was that it was…”REGULAR” (the Spanish word for “so-so”).



I thank God for a wonderful Mom who was graceful, patient, independent, intelligent and witty.



And as you enjoy Tapas with my father now, I also hope you will tell him with your gentle smile how much we miss him too and that the family and work you helped him accomplish were not “REGULAR” but pretty darn good after all.