This morning the telephone rang.
“Hello,” I answered, still almost asleep.
“Baby, I have a surprise for you. Are you up?”
Half asleep, I recognized the voice. Plus, it was the only person who calls me baby.
“Yeah, I’m wide awake,” I replied.
“Listen close – we’re coming to Cuba to spend New Year’s with the whole family. Do you hear me?” she said excited.
“Yeah, I hear you,” I answered, by then completely awake and almost speechless with surprise.
“And the children?” I asked, to come out of the shock.
“Fine, but a little nervous, since they know that we’re coming to Cuba. Julian is seven now, and the girls aren’t such little girls any more – they’re 15. They really want to see all of you! The boy’ never met all of you and you guys are his only aunts and uncles.”
Like this, slowly and softly, she went on to tell me about the kids’ interests, until she finally said, “Baby, I have to hang up now, I’m past my limit. A big kiss. Bye,” and she hung up.
I haven’t seen my twin nieces for eight years. Then too, it’s been seven years since I’ve seen their mother; that’s to say, my sister, who took them to live with her to France after she married a French guy.
Previously, they had been brought up by their two grandmothers, while their mother got into a position where they could come live with her.
Today they live in a world that has changed them a lot: their language, in the tone of their voices, the way people walk, the way they think… but they continue to have something Cuban in their roots. They love Cuban music, even the boy, who’s not Cuban.
This reunion will be a real event that for first time I will have the opportunity to see and analyze. After five years unable to come home, today my sister called to say she plans to spend New Year’s with her family.