Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Your grandpa was awesome! Week #2

Dear Luki,

This past week, you rode on an airplane for the first time and we flew to Miami. You were great on the flight, and I made sure to breastfeed you during take-off and landing so that your ears wouldn't pop. The whole experience reminded me of a flight I took, also to Miami, over 17 years ago. We were leaving Cuba and moving to the United States, and when my ears popped in the plane your grandpa asked the flight attendant to bring me some water.

I don't remember too much about that day, but when your grandpa would talk about it later, he'd always mention how nervous he was. He didn't breathe easily until we were in the air, headed to the United States with no chance of being sent back. It was his lifelong dream to leave the oppressive regime in Cuba and offer your uncle Ani and I a better life.

And it was in Miami where he began to fulfill that dream.

I thought about him a lot as we drove around the familiar streets of Hialeah a few days ago. About how unfamiliar those streets must have seemed when he, at 35 years old, took on the challenges of starting it all from scratch.

But I want you to know that your grandpa didn't hesitate for a second. He exuded confidence and infected us with positivity.

Little by little, he began to build a new life for us. All on his own, he found a job, bought a car, taught himself how to drive, and moved us into our first apartment. I remember the day he came home with a T.V. We were all so excited that it was in color and had a remote control. I remember that he would drive me to school every morning and stop by the bakery to buy me two meat pastelitos for lunch. I remember that he'd come home from work and take your uncle and I to the park to play soccer or ride our bikes.

Eventually we left Miami and moved to a safer city with more opportunities.

But I will never forget how our new life in the United States began. How, when everything was new and different, your grandpa made it familiar.

Stand boldly before the unknown Luki, it's the only way to achieve your dreams.




  1. Those of us who have emmigrated from different parts of the world can really relate to your story.
    Thanks for reminding me of what it felt like.


  2. Wow! Tus historias me traen tanta melancolĂ­a (de mi abuelo) pero me encantan ... sigue escribiendo. Tu fan #2 (Ton-ton is #1 of course)