The Day I Stopped Being a Child

Dmitri Prieto

Photo from Las Terrazas by Caridad

Forty days ago my mom died.

It was in a cold and whitish room in the Oncological Hospital; it was a small room, for two patients.

No one expected an outcome like this, at least not so quickly.  But in just two weeks the metastasis did its cruel work, and her lungs couldn’t take any more.

About 10 years ago, I remember talking with a Russian friend in Moscow.  I’ve known her since we were children.  Our families became friends because our parents studied together at the university.  There are lots of photos of our childhood together.  In any case, she told me at that time (she was by then 30-something) that life is only a slow process of realizing that we’re no longer children…

I made a note of her thought, and I adopted that position – until the inevitable occurred.

I think that somehow there is always a child inside the heart of a sincere person.  Even my mom carried one inside.

But when death comes close to us, something happens.  It’s as if something of that child disappears forever.

It’s to open the doors to an abyss that will always be there…the door to a cliff.

It’s like seeing that boy fall in, vertically, downward, and not being able to save him.

Perhaps in this way we reach adulthood.

It arrives like a bridge strung between abysses.

I don’t believe in all that nonsense of “you have to go along with it…”

One can write the Pythagorean Theorem on a chalkboard and later erase it.  But the theorem doesn’t disappear.  It remains there.

The same happens with the people we love most.  When a piece of mutated DNA erases its vital functions from the world of biological life, they don’t disappear – they remain there.

They continue being like before, or perhaps even better people.

Those who we change forever are ourselves.

Dimitri Prieto-Samsonov

Dmitri Prieto-Samsonov: I define myself as being either Cuban-Russian or Russian-Cuban, indiscriminately. I was born in Moscow in 1972 of a Russian mother and a Cuban father. I lived in the USSR until I was 13, although I was already familiar with Cuba-- where we would take our vacation almost every year. I currently live on the fifth floor of an apartment building in Santa Cruz del Norte, near the sea. I’ve studied biochemistry and law in Havana and anthropology in London. I’ve written about molecular biology, philosophy and anarchism, although I enjoy reading more than writing. I am currently teaching in the Agrarian University of Havana. I believe in God and in the possibility of a free society. Together with other people, that’s what we’re into: breaking down walls and routines.



2 thoughts on “The Day I Stopped Being a Child

  • De veras lo siento hermano. Quisera estar por alla, para al menos darte un abrazo. Que rabia no poder estar cerca de los amigos cuando nos necesitan. Zef

    Reply

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