By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Tears well up in Elman's eyes, brightening the makeup sparkles she had dashed across her cheeks for the special occasion. "It's really, really sad," she says.
But Carolina smiles widely, offering assurances that even in the midst of upheaval she will offer stability.
"Everything will be the same," she says.
The food, the decor, the staff, the atmoshpere--and the jukebox that has been dishing out many of the same songs for 20 years.
If anyone can keep the restaurant alive, it is Carolina.
She is a woman who believes deeply in keeping things together. She brought the remains of her father to Arizona when she moved here 22 years ago to improve the life of her "special" daughter.
It was through Sylvia's disability that Carolina and her family found new opportunities in Arizona.
Even in the face of an uncertain future for her business and for Sylvia, Carolina knows where her strength resides.
"They told us we would be eligible for hospice care," she says about Sylvia. "I said, 'No, we don't need that. She has her family, me, and all her sisters.'"
And, of course, the extended family of hundreds of customers and employees of Restaurant Mexico.