When We Were All Together

By Paula Henriquez

Photo: kids playing in Cuba.  Photo: Pleamares – WordPress.com

HAVANA TIMES — I remember when I was little girl and all of my neighborhood friends would get together so we could play. We were about 10 kids, maybe there were more of us.

It was a nuisance for our neighbors who had to deal with the racket a big group of kids running about used to make. But that wasn’t our concern, we just wanted to have fun and see each other every day so we could continue playing and running around.

As adults now, some of us continue to be friends, others have built their lives in other neighborhoods and even in other provinces and others have even gone to another country to build their lives. As it happens, we were talking about this the other day, about how we’re all spread out across the globe, about how our children don’t know each other and can’t be friends like we used to be.

And the same thing has happened to many others. Some people find each other again on social media, others meet up when they return to the island and others perhaps never see each other again. I hope that my daughter doesn’t have to experience this in the future; it’s very sad to see someone you love, a relative, a friend, leave and think that it might be a very long time before you see them again.

When we were all together, we used to be very happy. We didn’t have much, our toys weren’t very sophisticated, or brightly-colored like they are today, we didn’t even have Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck coloring books, and many of us didn’t have bikes, scooters, toy cars,, but we were all friends, we were all together and that was enough.

 

Paula Henriquez

Paula Henriquez: Since childhood I have been told I should be careful what I say in public. "Think before you speak, especially in front of others," my mother would say, and it was more of a plea than a scolding. Even today I hear her and I obey her, just that I do not speak, I write. Letters and words are my escape, my exit and daily catharsis, which printed on paper, revive me. And this picture is my refuge.



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