Mercedes Gonzalez Amade
HAVANA TIMES — Being a mother has been the greatest, most beautiful experience of my life. I feel proud of the sacrifices – both joyful and sad – that I’ve had to make over these past 12 years, trying to give my Carlos Adriel the best, shield him from the worst and give him a childhood happier than the one I had.
I’ve learned from my mistakes (as the saying goes: “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”). I didn’t have a father by my side while growing up and I had always wished my son wouldn’t be denied one, knowing the impact that the absence of a paternal figure can have only too well.
Unfortunately, I didn’t choose wisely: after I became separated from Carlos Adriel’s father, he also distanced himself from the child and I was forced to take on his education, upbringing and nourishment all by myself. It was hard for me. At one point, I doubted my strength, asked a psychologist for help and pulled through. Fortunately, those feelings of insecurity are well behind me.
The fact of the matter is that he is never available: neither as a father figure nor as economic support. Though fathers are bound by law to maintain their children in Cuba, I never asked him for anything. It would have accomplished very little, and it was preferable to leave the “virtual” father alone, to spare him something he didn’t want to do.
My son is already a teenager and I know this situation has torn an immense hole in his education and life in general. I know there are many mothers like myself who suffer over the insensitivity of some men.
Not all men are like that. I know some who are exemplary fathers. Those are the ones I commend and admire. Women should nonetheless be wise in their choices, because, ultimately, it is our children who suffer and we along with them.