Father’s Day

I posted this for Father’s Day last year, and after struggling with words and feelings to write something new, I realized that what I have to say this year is the same as last year, and so I dedicate this to a special dancing friend, next year in la Habaña amigo.

All over this great free nation, families pay homage to el Padre, the father. There are as many different kinds of celebrations as there are fathers. Brunches, lunches, barbecues, dinners. ..
It’s not so easy for Cuban exiles. The revolution, castro’s supposedly great humanitarian gift to the world is in fact responsible for human pain on a scale too huge to categorize. I’m talking about the pain of separation from family.
Children sent to the States during Pedro Pan who never saw their fathers again. Fathers who sent their wives and children ahead, expecting to follow them in a few months…but that was before castro closed the door. Imagine, month after month waiting, hoping, dreaming, and finally reconciling to the fact that he’s not coming. He can’t get out.
Twenty years later, Mariel … how many finally were reunited. Such joy, but how many were reunited with familes they no longer knew? More pain thanks to fidel.
Those years were just the beginning, castro has been in power for 47 48 years. Through all these years, Cubans have been fleeing in anyway they are able. Lawfully, waiting for a visa, sometimes for years; or on rafts, or defecting while on “special” allowed trips for business, or art, or sports. Cubans are very resourceful, they’ve created boats out of old used cars and any material that will float.
Each of these exiles knows that family left behind may never be seen again.
Imagine that last goodbye.
This fathers day, give your Dad a hug and tell him that you love him, and then say a prayer for all those who suffer family separations imposed by a dictator. Cuba libre.