On Sunday September 20, 2020 we lost our beloved mother. There are no words strong enough to describe the immense sorrow in our hearts. But there are words to describe the life she led.
The name Luz means light, but many of you knew her under the nickname “Lucy”. Luz Maria was born in Puerto Rico on May the 3rd, 1939 to Bernardino Cabrera and Juana Cruz. She was the only girl among 5 brothers with nicknames of their own: Monserrate, Francisco “Panche”, Evaristo “Boringo”, Rafael “Rafo”, and Mateo “Pin”.
Mom grew up very poor, and she shared many stories of her life in Puerto Rico. When we were small, we could not believe them: sneaking away on the bike when her brothers were not using it, not having shoes, or putting cardboard inside to cover holes in the soles. Or getting lucky once in a while and having 5 cents to see a movie. With great sadness she told us how she lost her own mother at a young age to cancer.
Her family never had a car, so she rarely got the chance to venture far. She must have been very brave to leave behind everything familiar to come to the mainland U.S. No one in her immediate family was here. But she found a way to gain employment and create a life for herself. She worked hard all her life to support and give us all the things kids need.
Mom loved many things. As a child, she loved her parents and brothers. We heard tales of our relatives, and we got to spend time with them. She loved her home in College Park, and was always very active even after working 6 days a week. In addition to taking care of us, she enjoyed being outside in her yard. She took every opportunity to plant, trim, or cut grass. There were plants everywhere inside. Mom loved her animals. She always had peanuts for the squirrels and seed for the wild birds. Over the years we had gerbils, birds, fish, frogs, turtles, and a rabbit. They always had regular visits to the vet and lived long lives.
She was a great mother who always had time to spend on us. We went all the places a kid would ever want. Movies, Chuck E. Cheese, Disney World, Kings Dominion, Wild World, comic conventions, Ocean City, car shows, Washington DC, etc. It must have been dreadful for her, but it never showed. Christmas was wonderful. We got lots of toys we wanted. For me, Ricky, it was all about superheroes, GI Joe, and He-Man. For Jeffrey, it was cars & trucks. Our birthdays were fun, as we celebrated in McDonalds or had a party in the backyard. We absolutely loved going home to Puerto Rico. There were so many cousins and family we got to know. Playing on the farm outside her family home, going to the beach, and eating all the delicious food left us wonderful memories. All this from a now single mother, who never had a lot of money.
She leaves behind her family that loves and misses her greatly, including one surviving brother, Mateo, two sons, Ricardo and Jeffrey, and two grandchilden, Noveya and Christian Mateo. Not to mention her numerous friends, some of whom are here today.
In closing, we thank you all for being friends with our mother, and hope that her memory remains with you. If you have any stories to tell, we would love to hear them. Our lives will never be the same without mom. We know just how much she loved us, and we were able to say exactly how much we loved her.
A tribute video will be made and posted when available.
Funeral services will be held at:
Holy Redeemer Church, 4902 Berwyn Rd, College Park MD 20740 **