Lynette Vives the name given to her at birth, learned in her early years from her mother that she had a sister by the same father in Cuba. Her life would take an interesting turn when she learned of a niece living no more than 10 miles in her home state, Virginia. The daughter of a sister she had never met, who died of the same illness Lynette had contracted many years ago viral meningitis. Lynette took a trip to Cuba to visit her fathers family and learned of her Spanish heritage, her grandfather’s and grandmother’s roots tied to Sueca Spain and the arrival of her father in his 20’s in Cuba.
Lynette made her own way in life coming from a poor area In Brooklyn, New York. She started in the late 70’s as a receptionist for a Pioneer PC software company specializing in creating distribution markets for young software authors like Bill Gates, Seymour Rubenstein, Mitch Kapor to name a few. It was at this company that Lynette changed her original birth name to her Business name Lynette Spano of which she used for 4 decades till December 2019. "Life has a way of coming full circle to start out as Lynette Vives to Lynette Spano back to her original name Lynette Vives. Typical of the all American dream, in 1983 she branched out on her own and started SCI in her mother’s basement. Lynette’s drive and determination built a 275-plus person company realizing $50 million in revenue as a US federal government contractor with clients like Department of Energy, Homeland Security, EPA and the US Coast Guard. Overcoming not only the challenges of being Latina and one of the first woman in the IT field in the early 80’s coupled with financial challenges and later with a life-threatening illness, Lynette epitomized the true meaning of determination, tenacity, perseverance and faith in one self, creating one of the few large woman-owned federal contracting companies in the Federal space at that time. Family: Lives in Fairfax and New York
On September 05, 2019 Lynette while sitting in a fencing training academy watching her grandson taking a fencing lesson, did not know that this would be an ever changing moment in her life. Lynette sat next to a young woman who she would later learn is the daughter of her sister from Cuba she never met. After DNA testing and forensic analysis the result confirmed that this young woman was indeed her niece, there were 2 daughters by her sister Purita, Yamina and Yaima. Christmas holidays celebration all united with the rest of Lynette’s nieces and twin brother in celebration of finding Lynette’s father’s family.
After enduring such a difficult illness viral meningitis and told by her doctors that she would most likely not be able to return back to work, Lynette look to writing and poetry a gift her mother had to help her recovery process. One evening while crafting a poem that later become a song Lynette asked her family if she could use their mothers name to release artistic material. Alas, under the heading "By Stebani Cruz" there has always been an artistic side to me” says the artist Stebani Cruz. “No matter what you dream, life has a way of changing your course and it isn’t until something catches your eye and gets you back on track and returns you to your passion.” Cruz had no idea that her new found passion would come from music. Her career path found a new direction in 2006 as a result of the illness, which caused brain swelling and severe memory loss. Told she also had a 2 brain aneurysms and a 40 percent chance of survival, she fought back. “I lost my walking and motor skills and was bedridden and handicapped for almost an entire year,” she says. “But I wasn’t going to give up.” Music became a a path of expression during these difficult times.
Life has a way of changing your course, Are we really in control? Lynette wrote the book Nona and Maddox to fill the void in children’s books that feature a child being raised by a grandmother. She hopes through her book to show children that there is no one right way to be a family and to normalize the experience millions of children around the world have of being raised by grandparents.
2.9 million grandparents are raising over 4.5 million children in the United States, which means there are many children like Maddox. He wanted to share his story in “A day in the life of an ordinary boy, Maddox.”
Is it destiny, chance or pure luck. Lynette her entire life was told of a Cuban father and sister 6 years her senior who lived in Cuba . On September 05, 2019 while sitting in a fencing academy in Fairfax VA watching her 8 year old grandson taking a fencing lesson, Lynette having no idea the woman sitting next to her the wife of one of the fencing coaches was the daughter of the sister she had never met. To learn that her sister had died in Cuba from the very same illness that she had contracted, Meningitis. This illness also almost took her life and left her struggling for almost 5 years with forms of brain swelling and cognitive impairment, affecting her concentration,trouble remembering and making decisions that effected her everyday life. to know that she had a niece in her hometown, this event was forever life changing.
While visiting Cuba she also learned of her Spanish roots, her grandfathers difficult journey during the Franco era, the cause of his death as a result of La Pava a Bomber plane navigated by Mussolini’s son Bruno who dropped the bomb in Valencia where her grandfather was stationed finally causing his death. The story in 1943 where Lynette’s Grandmother Felicisima with her 8 children including her father 20 years of age at the time, boarded a ship to go to Cuba with the aid of the Cuban embassy in Spain. Is she Puerto Rican, Cuban or Spaniard? More to be told in the release of Lynette’s Autobiography “The Price You Pay”