New Year Reflections. Let’s Value What We Have

By Irina Pino

My family taking a walk in Old Havana.

HAVANA TIMES – My December 31st was crap. I didn’t leave the house. I sat and watched the end of a TV series. I had to cancel my plans of sharing the New Year with friends because of my accident, followed by the convalescence, which in my case, will be a long while.

Some of the scenes from the series Parenthood were the climax of a sadness that has endured many years, the memory of a united family; joyful events, normal Cuban family get-togethers, New Year’s dinners, my nieces and nephews playing, running all over the house, and my father asking for seconds…

None of this will ever happen again, my family has shattered, they now live in the US; my father died three years ago. There are only a couple of us left in Cuba. A chain with links that are impossible to recover.

I think we ask too much from life, although we almost never stop to think about the value of what we do have, about the importance of sharing joy in conversation, love; as well as fights with our loved ones and friends.

Mi padre en el centro y mis sobrinos que residen en USA

If we really think about it, our desires are based on material things: being successful and having money. And in reality, we lose the things we most need: company, living special and one-off moments.

Life’s unexpected twists and turns make me think about the fragile nature of being human, about how fleeting life truly is. A few days ago, there was a huge ruckus here outside my house, police cars, ambulances and a rescue brigade came. A boy had drowned. The doctor managed to resuscitate him for a few minutes, but he eventually passed away in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. He was only 22 years old.

What terrible pain his family must be feeling, who will never see his face again, never have him amongst them.

These tragedies often take place in coastal areas where people swim in the sea in defiance of stormy weather, it isn’t anything new. These are tragic events that happen as the result of the negligence people involved have. Maybe they are in the wrong place at the wrong time? Maybe it’s even karma?

My niece and nephew in the United States.

I don’t know, but I will say again that we don’t appreciate the true value of existence. We are just passing through, yes, but we can be better, take positive actions, leave a legacy behind so that we are remembered. It’s sad to live without an objective.

Let me tell you the following: we have to look for useful alternatives to be happy. Art, in all its forms, feeds my soul. I can’t live without writing; I need to create my own reality (the other one).

Circumstances and chance are discreet conspirators, nevertheless, we humans should be prepared to get close to the people we love, to be in touch with ourselves and the universe, in spite of the difficulties we will have to face.

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Irina Pino

Irina Pino: I was born in the middle of shortages in those sixties that marked so many patterns in the world. Although I currently live in Miramar, I miss the city center with its cinemas and theaters, and the bohemian atmosphere of Old Havana, where I often go. Writing is the essential thing in my life, be it poetry, fiction or articles, a communion of ideas that identifies me. With my family and my friends, I get my share of happiness.

Irina Pino has 266 posts and counting. See all posts by Irina Pino

4 thoughts on “New Year Reflections. Let’s Value What We Have

  • Hello from Toronto, Canada…
    Your article helps me summarize my own perception about how much feel when it comes to family and life in general.
    I’m looking forward to the next read…

    I wish you a good 2020 and a fast recovery.

    Quetti Leon, La Bayamesa

  • I enjoy reading your articles. My next visit (Feb 2020) to Havana will be my 51st since my 1st trip on 9/11/2001 which is a date that will forever be in memories of Americans.

    There are many of us in the US who are continuously and diligently seeking to end the blockade and the continued
    mistreatment of Cuba by the US Government.

    I’m looking forward to the day when the US will finally allow our citizens to visit Cuba..these visitors first comment will likely be the same as mine some 19 yrs ago….. “wow, have we been lied to”. In short, if Cuba is our enemy we don’t need friends.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery. All the best,

  • Hi Iriana
    Thanks for sharing.
    I enjoy reading your stories. Sorry to hear about your mishap.

    Dan B.

  • So sorry to hear about your accident. Wishing you a prompt recovery Irina Pino. You know that all births are accidental in nature. Bye !

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