A Dedication to
My abuelita , which means grandmother
in spanish, was my living angel. She cared for me from the time I
was born until the time that she passed on to another life. My abuela
was born in Cuba in 1918. She grew up in Havana when it was the place
to be. Americans were lining the streets and the nightlife could
rival that of New York City. She used to tell me how beautiful Cuba
was and that it was a magical place. But hard times followed my abuela.
She met my grandfather, who looked like a Spanish Rhett Butler, in 1941.
He was visiting his family who had moved to Cuba from Spain to start a
business. They fell in love and married in Janurary 1942. And
nine months later came along my mother in Ocotber of that same year.
They were happy and my grandfather had no intentions on returning to Spain.
He began working for his uncle and provided a nice home and life for my
abuela and mother in the afluent section of Havana called Miramar.
But in 1946 my grandfather died of
what doctors in Cuba were calling an overgrown heart. They blamed
his hard work on a farm in Spain as child. This left my grandmother
and my four year old mother alone. My grandmother set her mind to
make sure that my mother would have everything. So, she began to
work as a seamstress and also as the person who made sure the kids behaved
on the school buses. She did this so that my mother could go to an
American School in Havana and learn English. As things started to
look as if they were coming together, a revolution broke out in 1959.
And the government had been overthrown by Fidel Castro, whom you all know.
Things progressively got worse. On November 30, 1966, my grandmother
packed up what was allowed and left with my mother to the "Land where the
streets were lined with gold." Life wasn't easy in the U.S.A. but
she got on with the hopes that one day she could return to a free Cuba.
My mother married in 1971 and I was born in 1973. I was her life
or so she used to tell me. My abuela and I used to share a bedroom
until I was 13 and I would always crawl in bed with her when I was sick
(even at the age of 18). She never minded caring for me, she understood
my parents had to work.