{Women Who Love FOF} Cecile Wheatley

Cecile’s email thrilled us all at FOF. The moment we read her uplifting message, we were determined to find out more about her. When we emailed to thank her, we asked if she’d do a little interview.  She was thrilled.

Meet FOF Cecile.

How old are you?
I was born in 1946.  You get the calculator out.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Cuba and came to the United States when I was 15.  I lived in several states at different stages in my life.

Can you tell us about the circumstances surrounding your move to the US?
“I came to Miami, in 1961, with thousands of other children whose parents believed the young revolutionary government would take us away from them. Some of us went to live with relatives and friends.  Others stayed in ‘camps,’ or were relocated to foster homes throughout the country, to wait for our parents to come to the US to get us.

“My brother, sister and I were fortunate enough to go to Washington State to live with a family that kept us together. Three years later, we joined our mother to live in Puerto Rico.

Living in Washington was a big change from Cuba, I assume.

“It was a total cultural and climate shock. But we adapted, and within a year, we could call ourselves bilingual. Besides, Washington is just gorgeous, which was a bonus.”

Where do you live now?
“Bay Harbor Islands, Florida, which is close to North Miami Beach.”

Did you go to college?
“I graduated from Ramapo College in Mahwah, NJ, with a degree in Business Administration and a MIS concentration.”

What do you do?
“I’m a computer programmer and GIS Systems analyst. But I’m not a geek!”

Married? Children?
“Single, with a 39-year-old son and a 37-year-old daughter. They’re both amazing people who are married to likewise wonderful, amazing people.”

Did you always work?

“I started working for ITT, as a programmer trainer, when I was 19. After marrying, my husband and I moved to New York to raise a family. I became the executive wife of the seventies and eighties. I eventually moved to the Greater Miami area, where I returned to the job market.”

Who has inspired you most?

“My brother, Rudy, has been the inspiration of my life.  He believes life is a continuously enjoyable challenge and an adventure. His accomplishments are remarkable, especially since we came to this country as children, and everything he has achieved is due to his hard work.”

What inspires your passions?

“I love my work, coastal living, the symphony, theatre, opera, ballet, crossword puzzles, and, on occasion, I like to cook something special.”

Do you have a favorite restaurant?
“La Petite Rouge, which is a tiny place on Biscayne Boulevard that seats around 30. The food is memorable and so is the service.”

What about a favorite book?
“The Power of Now,” by Eckhart Tolle, is an insightful, enlightening book that has empowered me to reach the depths of my spiritual self and to actually get to know me!”

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