The two have started a hilarious, popular Instagram account, and together they bear witness to the love of extended family.
Miguel Ángel Muñoz is a young Spanish actor, very popular in his home country and abroad. He is famous for his work in television, cinema and theater, as well as for his generous work collaborations with various charitable organizations.
During these past months of confinement due to the coronavirus, his life has been turned upside down like everyone else. When a state of emergency was declared in Spain, Miguel Ángel put his profession on hold and turned to what he loves most: his great-grand-aunt –“Auntie” Luisa.
Auntie Luisa Cantero is a beautiful 95-year-old woman who is the sister of Muñoz’s great-grandmother.
“My strong relationship with my ‘auntie,’” explains Muñoz, “comes from the fact that she took care of me when I was little. My parents were very young, and both had to work. So the person who could stay with me was my ‘auntie.’”
She was like a mother to him until he was 3 years old. So it’s no surprise that, for her, he was and still is “Miguelito.”
The actor, who is now 36 years old, is always on the lookout for his “auntie.” He says, “She needs someone to look after her, and she had two hired care providers to look after her day and night.”
As the coronavirus pandemic spread, fear of her catching the disease made Muñoz think about what would be best for her. “I lived with her practically all my childhood,” he explains. Now the time has come for him to return her kindness.
70 days under the same roof
The actor decided not to put the old woman at risk of contagion, so he minimized his contact with others coming in and out of the house, and confined himself with her. The celebrity and his great-grand-aunt have spent more than 70 days under the same roof. “This hasn’t happened since I was three years old. Although I’m with her a lot, it’s never 24 hours a day or so many days in a row,” he says. They love each other.
Muñoz devised a daily plan that includes breakfast, taking medication, grooming … all the routines that suit her best. She likes to watch Mass at 10 a.m.; he listens while he exercises.
In the afternoon, they have invented a “show,” which they call the “Cuarentata” in Spanish (“Quar-auntie”), which they broadcast live on Instagram. Miguel proposes a topic of conversation to get things started, and as they talk, they interact with the public. The account is called @soylatatareal ; although it’s entirely in Spanish, their smiles and laughter cross language boundaries.
They talk about everything from the mundane to the sublime. The elderly woman comments and gives advice, they dress up, they laugh. They’re a magnificent duo and give an example of family love across generations.
For Muñoz’s great-grand-aunt, it’s great fun. Instead of being distressing, the period of confinement due to the coronavirus has become a very happy one.
They already have 113,000 followers, and Miguel’s “auntie” has become an “influencer” for people of all ages. No one wants to miss her daily evening appearances.
Viewers know that the duo has live-streamed more than 70 “episodes.” Muñoz uses a clapperboard as if he were in a film studio, and announces the number of the episode at the beginning of every show. From beginning to end, viewers witness a combination of tenderness, the actor’s patience with his elderly great-grand-aunt, good humor, and hope, despite the danger of COVID-19.
Their account is a reminder of the importance of family, and of a message Pope Francis has often shared: Grandparents and the elderly are a key part of families. Speaking to grandparents in October of 2016, he said,
“You are an important presence, because your experience is a precious treasure, indispensable for looking to the future with hope and responsibility. Your maturity and wisdom, gathered over the years, can help the younger ones, supporting them on the way of growth and openness to the future, and in their search for their own path. The elderly, in fact, testify that, even in the most difficult trials, one need not lose confidence in God and in a better future. They are like trees that continue to bear fruit; even under the weight of years, they make their original contribution towards a society rich in values and towards the affirmation of a culture of life.”
Miguel and his sweet “auntie” bear witness to this truth in a fun-loving, lighthearted way. May we follow their example in cherishing each member of our own families and communities!