A letter to my Uncle Leo:
Dear Tio Leo,
I’m sorry I didn’t have the opportunity to know you. Ninety miles of ocean, me being able to only speak Spanglish, and the inability to visit you in Cuba were the restrictions set before my family and me. And if you have the opportunity to get this letter I want you to know that besides all those restrictions you had a family here that loved you.
It’s hardest on your siblings since a lot of weight falls on their shoulders: “I could have done more” “I wish I was by his side” “If we had the means, we could’ve been there.” But I know that you knew their hearts and their struggles. You knew their intent. You knew that they were always there with you in your heart. Waves may separate us, laws may separate us and boundaries may separate us from physically being with you, but blood is thicker than water, and our spirit was with you whether we knew it or not.
Lolita, my mom was talking about how a piece of her feels like it was chipped off, and its because you were such a huge part of her life, part of all your sibling’s life. And I believe that feeling they experience is because a piece of their spirit went out to walk you to the gates of heaven and back.
There was so much that I wanted to learn from you if I went to Cuba. But now, when I visit I’ll appreciate everything that much more, knowing that you were there. You will always be in my memory, in my thoughts and (your family) in my prayers.
My mother and tias tell me the stories from Cuba, and even though the unfortunate circumstance and the sacrifices happened, we appreciate everything that you had to go through. Your legacy travels on through the family and you will be forever loved and missed.
Enjoy heaven, where there is no more suffering and pain, and may you walk with God. Give Grandma Wana a kiss for me, and tio Steve all my love. There is now one more star in the sky to look up to at night.
P.S: Your family is still crazy and we love you very much!