I remember that Wednesday was Dayanara Torres’s birthday and I called our common friend, the extraordinary makeup artist, Clark Ivor, fellow Puerto Rican. The three of us go back, a long way back (more years than we care to admit), so Clarky and I decided to surprise this beautiful lady and celebrate her 41st birthday before anyone else. We would sign our life away to look as fabulous at that age –we would have loved to look like her when we were twenty!
We both know that this year has been a bit difficult for her; the legal case against her former husband and father of her children, singer Marc Anthony, has taken a considerable emotion toll on her; then her beloved mother took ill and had to be taken in for emergency surgery in LA. Thank God everything has gone well and she is still recuperating at her daughter’s house. Wanting to cheer her up and see the sparkle of her spectacular eyes, which can illuminate an entire room. Hoping to launch this blog with such a beauty goddess, I called her to ask to be ready and dressed up with an Audrey Hepburn´s look, of whom she is an adoring fan; then Clark and I set out on the road to visit her.
We arrived bearing balloons and a cake from Sweet Lady Jane, which was almost eaten by her cute kitten (note that in the photo of the cake the “birthday” is more than half-licked). With the photos we took and the out-of-tune happy birthday, we reiterate our heartfelt wishes for her. We wish you all the best, dear Yari.
– You are forty-one today and you amazing. What’s your secret?
-I don’t know. -She replies giggling.– I try to take care of myself, choose to eat healthy, while not strictly. I love to do zumba, spinning or take a class of bar-method at least twice a week.
– Are you afraid of birthdays? Is it something that keeps you awake at night?
-Never! I always welcome my birthdays with open arms and happiness and always celebrate them in some special way.
– In what ways do you feel that you are more mature today than before?
-Maybe I have learned some lessons in my life in the hardest way… Today I feel that I have definitely grown and matured. I see life in a very different way; things that robbed me of sleep before today are totally insignificant. I don’t waste time. My children are the most important part of my life –their health, their happiness –and mine.
– As you have been away from the cameras for a while, your fans miss you. What have you been doing all along?
-My children have always been my priority; I have always said that my principal role is that of mother, everything else is secondary. The jobs that I have accepted did not take me away from being with them, as it is my duty. Upon winning the legal battle in which I undertook, my children and I took time to stabilize ourselves, found the house they wanted –beautiful and with all the space they need to run and play around. Everything they deserve! I am happy seeing them happy, that is all I need.
– Your mother has had an operation similar to the one you had a few years ago. How is she doing?
-She is doing much better; it was a big scare for us. Barely a week after getting here to visit us, she fell ill and had to have emergency surgery. Thanks God everything went well and she is recuperating steadily; we are most thankful for that.
– Along with your children, she must be among the people you hold dearest and closest. How did you live the difficult moments of waiting for her to come out of the operating room?
-I have been lucky to make wonderful friends at the two schools my children have attended and they helped me take care of them those first days. That way I was able to keep my mother company, especially at night. Surgery lasted three hours. Other than praying a lot, I was in constant communication with our family so that we were all praying together. The most anguishing part was the thirteen days she spent in hospital but it is times like that that bring you closer to those you love.
– How are you going to celebrate your birthday?
-This year it will be a weekend-long celebration! On Friday with all my friends at one of my favorite restaurants; Saturday I always celebrate with my girlfriends in Calabasas –on Halloween, then Sunday with a BBQ at my house.
– What gift would you like to receive today?
-I never ask for anything. My children always make the day special for me. From the moment I wake up until night, it is my day. They serve me breakfast in bed, make me beautiful cards and Cristian, the eldest, draws something special. Then they invite me to a restaurant that, of course, I pay for! haha–but they let me choose the place…(more giggles).
– What do you ask of this New Year in your life that starts today?
-Health is the most important thing. Also, new work projects that I am able to take on not interfering with my mom duties.
– What are you most thankful for and why?
– There are many things that I am thankful for: My children, health, our house, the beautiful relationship my children and I have; my mother, our family and, certainly, for the lessons learned –both the good ones and the bad ones.
– When will we see you in front of the cameras again?
– At any moment, God-willing. I am reviewing different projects and the moment something happens, I will let you know.
INTERVIEW AND PHOTOS: Nunu for Nunu Pictures
MAKE UP AND HAIR: Clark Ivor
Translated by Wendell Figueroa
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