Friday, January 1, 2010


I guess it really still has not sunk in. It will. I am going through a rollercoaster of emotions... I get angry.... I feel overwhelmingly sad... I feel anxiety... not sure why so many different emotions. Guess that is just the way it is.

So many wonderful emails, from people who never knew him... from people who knew him well. My brothers and I have heard stories over the past few days we never knew... stories that validate what we always knew about our dad.. that he was the kindest, most selfless man we every knew. He did so many things for so many people... never saying anything... never doing it for any other reason that just because he wanted to... because someone needed him at that moment... because he had the ability to make someone happy or make their life easier. Never talked about it... didn't want the recognition... just did what he knew he should do.

I am so very proud of my father. So proud of the man he was.

My brother Albert read this poem to my father at his eulogy, I thought it was absolutely perfect....

You may have thought I didn't see
Or I sometimes didn't hear you,
about the Life Lessons that you tried to teach me,
But I got every word.

Perhaps you thought I missed it all,
and that sometimes we grew apart,
But Dad, I picked up everything.
It's written on my heart.

Without you Dad, I wouldn't
be the man I am today;
you built a strong foundation for my sister,
my brother and I,
No one can take that away.
I've grown up with your values,
and I'm very glad I did;'

I will miss you Dad but will see you in the faces of my
brother and my sister;
my children and my grandchildren.
So here's to you, dear father,
Rest in Peace: I understood.

He went on to say: "As you all may know, my siblings and I will be traveling to Cuba with his ashes; to take him home to the country he never stopped loving and the family he never stopped missing. We will leave him with his mother, his father, sister and brothers, some he never saw again after fleeing Cuba with 3 small children. He will return to Cuba not as that 30 year old man fleeing a country whose destiny was not one he wanted for his children... but as a great man.. a triumphant man who was able to take his children out of that doomed island to this great country he loved so much. A triumphant man who gave his children opportunities they would never have had otherwise. My father returns to his country a victor."

Life goes on and this too will pass. Isn't that what we've always heard? My brothers and I will get through this in the same way that so many of my wonderful friends have gotten through the loss of their loved ones. But life will never be the same; it will never be the same world without my father in it.

Thank you my friends. The amount of telephone calls and emails have been staggering... and heartwarming. His struggle is over. Now I just have to learn to live without him.


  1. dearest Elena..all your feelings are so very normal,it is all part of the grieving process. The true healing has just begun.After you return your father to Cuba and come home..this is when the healing really are in my heart....I CARE.

  2. What a wonderful thing to travel to Cuba to place his ashes there. And Cuba is changing now. It is easier to travel there for starters so you CAN do this for him.

    That was a wonderful poem/story your brother wrote. It took me nine years before I could bring myself to watch the video my daughter and her husband made for me of clips they had of my dad. Don't let anyone tell you to hurry up your sorrowing. You will find some days you think happy thoughts and some days you will cry. And that may just happen several years from now still but my experience is that the happy memories begin to outshine anything unhappy. Take your time.

  3. It is so true that the "world is different" without our loved ones in it. I miss my mom everyday but thankful to have known her and share the little pieces of her life that she's left behind, her wisdom and her art. A lovely tribute to travel to his homeland. Wishing you peace and sending you love.

  4. You are right, Elena, your life won't ever be the same. How can it? When we lose our parents, we lose that person who loved the essence of us in the most pure way. That's an irreplaceable gift. But the fact that you feel as you do towards your dad reminds you always of how special you are to have received that kind of love, and to know that you will pass that on to others in the cycle of life. xo-teri