Remembering my father

Irina Pino

My father in the center.

HAVANA TIMES — All throughout my life, I have heard stories about separated families, children who don’t speak to their parents or parents who don’t want to know anything about their children, neglect and other stories which are too terrible to repeat… However, my experience with my father wasn’t like this.

He always had a great deal of unconditional love for his children. And even though some of us had our rebellious moments, not understanding him, that’s not what we remember, we are just left with love for someone who put his family before anything else.

Soon, in February, it will be the second anniversary of his death, which doesn’t make me remember his last days in suffering, but my innocent childhood, when my sister and I were little girls and he would read us his book at night. The three of us would lay down in the bed and we would form a kind of circle, then, he would quietly and slowly recreate chapters which unfolded on a desert island.

Like a Cuban Jules Verne, or an experienced oral storyteller, he would take us to unknown landscapes, walking across the island or inside a cave, where castaways built a home to protect them from storms, the cold, a warm place where they could live in peace.

In analogy to his story, our peaceful place was the house in which we were born, there’s no doubt about that, where in spite of hardship, we always had something to eat and clothes on our back, we also played and fantasized like children do.

There was another foundation there: reading, two towering bookcases displaying books of all different literary genres, which called out to us to go deep into this round world which is to experience the things that writers tell.

My father wrote his own story, a whole life spent working tirelessly for his family making machines go round; never forgetting, never hiding the reality of everyday problems, loyal to his ideology of affection. Building a safe place to protect us from external aggressions.

Now that his spirit and our childhood home only float about in our memories, I can say: you didn’t work in vain. You used to put on your shoes to do the right thing and love was always your compass. 

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.

One thought on “Remembering my father

  • Judging by this account you had loving father who as far as i can see had his priorities right, family first. I hope that you have inherited these family values. Take care and remember your father for what he was and what he gave you and your family, and that was his love. My father was also a hard working family man who put his children first. i miss my dad even after all these years.

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