ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Tuesday brought an emotional reunion for three sisters who hadn’t seen each other in decades. Their Cuban family was separated after Fidel Castro took control in 1959.
Sisters Ina Jenner and Gloria Gonzales moved to the U.S. in the early 1950s, and ultimately settled in Pocahontas, Illinois. They never dreamed that once Castro took over, it’d take until 2013 to see their sister again.
It’s not hard to imagine the butterflies these women were feeling, waiting at Lambert Airport for their long lost sister to arrive. Those minutes creeping by felt even slower after they learned her flight was delayed an hour. But 83 year-old Rosa Llorca finally showed.
Sincecommunication with family in Cuba wasn’t possible, they had no recent photos. They almost missed each other, until Rosa recognized her big sister. “You recognized mebut I didn’t recognize you,” says Gloria, “remember you said ‘Cuca,’ you see, that’s the name they used to call me, Cuca.”
Ina hadn’t seen Rosa in 57 years. For Gloria, it’d been 61 years. Rosa was able to get a 5-year visa, so the three will have plenty of time to catch up.
The first introduction was to Ina’s American husband, Joe, who took the women to the airport.
Future plans include a family reunion, so Rosa can meet all those cousins, nieces and nephews. There may be a slight language barrier, but no borders will keep this family apart, anymore.
These sisters have 10 other siblings, scattered throughout the United States and Cuba.
Gloria and Ina had a similar reunion with their mother, who came to the U.S. from Cuba in 1993.