Emma M Sarmiento
September 23rd 1934 to November 11th 2017
Emma M. “Grandma Lizzie (aka Nana)” Sarmiento leaves behind an undefeated legacy of devotion, commitment, and love to her children and grandchildren. You see, if her children ever had a game, an event, anything you name it, she was there. Always. She traveled to the farthest corners of Dade and Broward County, often the only person in the bleachers cheering on her sons and daughter (or jeering an opponent by yelling “JINX!”). Emma entered eternal life on Saturday November 11th 2017. Her spirit is carried on proudly by her children and grandchildren.
Cuban-born, Brooklyn-raised, Miami-settled, Emma was one of a kind. A fiercely loyal and independent spirit that always told you what was on her mind, even if you didn’t ask. She called it like she saw it, and saw it like she called it. She was a tough cookie. Sharp as nails, but also sweeter than dulce. As a proud 7-year old girl growing up in Brooklyn, she would tell the story of hanging two stars on her apartment window after older brothers Ronny and Orlando left for WWII. Thankfully, she would say, they both returned safely and soundly from the war. She said that experience left a deep imprint on her life and shaped her sense of absolute devotion and commitment to family.
From her enduring 83 years of life, we are blessed to learn Emma’s many valuable life lessons and phrases of wisdom:
-No seas Fulano or Ciclano.
-Grit is a virtue.
-Give your pets a simple name like Lucky, Boots, Blackie, Cookie, Puppy, Calico, or Stanley. If you later find out Stanley is a female cat, just name her Shirley Stanley.
-Always say please and thank you, or I’ll find out about it.
-No one’s a mind reader. If you go out somewhere, leave a note.
-It’s ok when tired or nostalgic to OH-ccasionally let slip the pronunciation of nevah, evah, cawfee, and tawk.
-Brush your teeth, or you may loose them all.
-Be generous with your love, it’s free.
-Remember to feed the animals; they’re not going to feed themselves.
-Feed the animals that aren’t yours. Even if the food attracts a family of opossums living in your giant banyan tree and every stray cat from a 15-mile radius.
-Read voraciously. You can meet the most fascinating people, solve interesting mysteries, and travel the globe with books.
-Write clearly, succinctly and with a purpose…and with proper grammar, for God’s sake.
-Never, ever, ever, give up. Or nevah, evah, evah give up.
-Nothing is more delicious than Hershey’s chocolate and Dr. Brown’s cream soda.
-Everything always has a way of working out as long as you say “God Willing!”
-Don’t make the house a mess after it’s just been cleaned, or you will “vete pa’ carajo!!”
-DO NOT let the roaches in the house because they’ll climb up the wall and fly at your face.
-Conserve energy. In other words, close the door because we don’t work for FPL.
-Yell “JINX!” in a quiet gym during a game to rattle the opposing team’s free-throw shooters.
-Don’t be stupid. You’re not stupid, so don’t be stupid.
-I love you more. No, I love you more.
-It doesn’t matter if you become a beach bum as long as you get a college degree.
-If you don’t have time to cook dinner when you get home because you’re too tired from raising four kids, working a full-time job, cleaning, doing laundry, paying bills, driving mom’s taxi back and forth and back again, packing lunches, giving your first-generation children all the opportunities you and your husband didn’t have, and from never-ever missing your children’s activities…then you better wake up at 5am to cook diner. You can warm it up when you get home. It can be done.
Emma is survived by her children and grandchildren whose photos were placed, arranged, tucked, hung and taped throughout every part of her home. Patty (husband J.P., children Nina and Eva); Ed (wife Fran, children Abby, Tori, and Katie); Dan (wife Sue, children Ry, Daniel and Gracie). She was preceded by her ex-husband Joseph of 35 years of marriage and her two siblings Rolando and Orlando.
The family will plan a private service at a later date. Contact the family directly for details, or leave a comment requesting further information.