I didn’t get to make the call. The one I so longed to make and the one Dad so longed to receive.
Dad and I never discussed it, the call. It was something understood between Cuban father and son. And I know I wouldn’t actually be breaking the news. Dad always had the TV news on at home. Yet, still, we both waited a long time, patiently, to have that conversation.
“Dad…” I would have barely mustered the word.
“Hahahaha!” Dad’s laugh would have boomed through. “Colgo los tenis el hijoeputa!!!!” The son of a bitch is dead.
The conversation would have been short and full of “finally’s”. But Dad would have said one other thing that now – right now that fidel castro is finally, actually dead – wrenches my heart.
“I didn’t think I’d live to see the day,” he would have said. Calmly. Almost under his breath.
Dad died almost three years ago and I didn’t get to make that call. Mom died almost two years ago and I didn’t get to make that call either.
I hugged my wife last night when we heard the news. Both of us crying. Me because I no longer had my parents here to call and she because she got to call her parents.
I didn’t get to make the call but I will forever remember the day. And I will reconcile the fact that my parents died before that bearded bastard in one simple way:
fidel castro shattered my parents lives and broke their dreams. But thanks to their strength and sacrifices and determination, he couldn’t shatter mine.
Dad, Mom, today I celebrate your lives and not that man’s death.