It was a bittersweet milestone. My grandfather - a man I honor, respect, and think of every day of my life - turned 90 two Sundays ago, and I wasn't there to celebrate with him. He lives in Bogota, Colombia; I live in Dallas, Texas. That's a few thousand miles between us.
But I called and we had a nice conversation, as we always do. We often use this Spanish gibberish language he taught me way back when. Mimic that I am, I picked it up quite easily. The speaker adds a p+preceeding vowel after each syllable. Thus "Lito" becomes "Lipitopo." Lito is short for abuelito, which means "little grandfather." According to my uncle Mauricio, every noun in Colombia becomes diminuitive at the drop of a hat-ito. If it were up to him, every diminuation would mean immediate deportation. Eh.
Here's the whole Clan. As you can see, we eat our males:
Camila (cousin), Lita, Irene (cousin), Yolanda (aunt), Adriana (aunt), Emilia (cousin), Julia (cousin), Alicia (aunt), Mauricio (uncle), Lito, Genoveva (long-time, loyal family maid - Yes, I said maid.)