She -very seriously, which is unusual in her exhuberant and very 'joie de vivre' filled life- said that my friendship -since we were 12 years old- was one of the things she would give thanks this coming Thursday on Thanksgiving Day.
It was a great call! And it jolted me out, because I have been very 'down' lately and suffering my usual 'holiday blues' -- and her call made me run and write... Is that I have to be so very thankful for all I have ---and have had!
I had my country -Cuba- which I love, although I am not there. My city of Havana that inhabits my memory day after day, as a strong, green, blue, white and golden dream. And from those first 19 years of my life I have the most wonderful memories of my parents, all my extended family and very good friends.
Of course, there were bad moments, some even 'terrible' ones, but distance and time gone by, have erased the sharp edges of pain and allowed me to zero in on the soft and wonderful ones. Especially the times spent alone with my mother, discovering hand in hand the city we both loved so much.
I also have my life now -today- to thank for! The memories accumulated in the last decades living in the United States --and more specifically in my also very beloved city of New York.
My parents living here with my brother and myself --and the fact that in exile they were finally reunited and we all lived as a traditional family -like my mother always wanted it!- for the first time in so many years. Now they are both gone, but the good and funny memories could fill books and books....So I must thank you, Justo and Antonia, very, very much.
I am also thankful for my brother Leon, whom I love as much as I did when he was a cute little boy and I still try to protect like a second mother 100% of the time... And for all my extended family -Purita, Julio, Johnny, Roger, Marylin, Cristy, Mariano -- and all their children and grandchildren-which I have been able to see frequently in Miami or Mexico, while all of us in exile --and nourish our ties and love...I am thankful for my very few but wonderful close friends, like Eva and Marta Larraz and Rosita Peru and Tomas M and Chuchu and Paco and Jorge Pupo and Nora and Gladys Obelleiro and Tensy...And for the existence of sweet and handsome Alberto and Roy....And for my former marriage to Orlando Jimenez Leal - since there were many great times and a wonderful daughter --for whom I thank God a thousand times a day! ---and now for her husband Steve, who is already truly loved by all in the family.
So many thanks for my years working as a Ticket Agent at Iberia Air Lines --and how much fun I had traveling to Rome --for free, for the weekend! --during the fun times of the italian Dolce Vita!- just to buy the latest Italian shoes! And all the good friends I made there like Panchito and Nora...It was so great and I felt so free and sophisticated traveling around the world like a true jet-setter!
I must thanlk for my many years working as a succesful journalist. And it is still wonderful to do it every day of my life!...Also for my 3 documentaries -which allowed me to be a filmmaker and come on my own into that world. And for winning the Beca Cintas o Cintas Fellowship -still the only award I have applied for and won! (I am very proud and thankful for this)....
I am thankful for being healthy. Fiercely independent. Of earning my own living without depending on anyone. On being a good friend and and having very good friends. Of being able to be true to myself. Of speaking my mind. Of being able to enjoy nature, a book, a film --and the subtleties of a feeling, of a moment....so, so much....It's almost an endless list...
So --before you change your mind, my dear God -- I must thank you a thousand times!....If my life could continue being as fulfilled as it is today, I would be grateful forever. Many, many thanks!