Gloria’s youngest son Luis and his partner Lynette have just give birth to their first child, a little boy named Axel Antonio. This is Gloria’s fourth grandchild, joining Gabrielito and Alia, and Milenys.
Luis has a good job working security at the Decameron Hotel. He and Lynette have been together since she was fourteen; she moved in with the Samanegos and lived with Luis in his bedroom. They are still living there, but Gloria and papa Luis are finishing a small house for them next to the main house. Gloria is extremely straightforward about sexual matters; a condition of Lynette moving in was that they not start a family until they were ready as a couple. Luis is now 22 or so, and I imagine Lynette is 20 or close to it.
Friend and regular readers Phyllis and Sally will remember our first visit to Panama 10 years ago, when we and our late friend Marilyn sat around the dining room table looking at XRays of Luis’ clubbed foot, showing all sorts of metal in the foot from previous interventions. He had a badly withered leg that kept breaking just because of his body weight, and at that moment had been in a cast for many weeks — far longer than he should have been. Luis was being treated at the free public hospital in Panama City, which is one rung below the hospital where Minga goes. I can barely imagine. I intervened to have Luis see a private orthopedic doctor, who removed the cast, prescribed shoes with a lift to compensate for Luis’ uneven leg lengths and a toe box in the front to provide better balance. Luis also got six months of physical therapy to strengthen the leg.
Some of my interventions are more successful than others, but this was a big one. Luis’ entire life has been different: no more sitting inside in a cast while the other kids were outside playing. His bad leg, while not normal in size, has held up even as his body has evolved into a heavier adult male size — Gloria was afraid he would wind up in a wheelchair, which hasn’t happened. He is able to work, and walks pretty normally.
Now he is a father, and in what appears to be a stable long term relationship. He is a loving son. Those of us who have visited Panama and know this young man can take great joy in seeing him grown up.
Welcome to the world, little Axel Antonio. 🙂