I am sixty six years old and live a relatively peaceful and "normal" life in a suburb gated community in a small town in Florida. You could say I am happy, but more than anything I am content and feel safe enough to sleep at night. To be able to say these words is a million miles from where I came from and how I got here. The quest for "normality" has been a long and difficult road with sky-high hurdles to jump over just to achieve the most mundane of things. If you read some of my other stories you will find that my family was persecuted by a dictator, that my father was a political prisoner, that my brother was almost kidnapped, and that, in a nutshell, my life revolved around chaos. This was not of my doing but it was brought on by fate and my parents very naive way to live their lives playing with a devil and think they were not going to get burned. Their burns affected us in ways I am still defining.
After all the political strife, hiding, fleeing and returning when it was over, civil wars and chaotic political transitional periods, my father was offered a position in Miami as consul for the Dominican Republic in Miami, Florida. I was 12 when we packed everything and went off on, yet, another adventure. One that would change my life forever in the worse and best ways all at once. The best because I still remember arriving in the US and feeling in every inch of my body that I was finally home. That somehow the stork had dropped me in the wrong country and I had finally rectified her mistake. I learned English. The worse because it would expose me to situations that I would have never been exposed to in the Dominican Republic (DR) and one of which would impact my life forever.
As long as can remember, I have been an observer. There are two kinds of kids, the ones doing and the ones watching. I was the watcher: extremely shy, awkward and skinny, too afraid to talk. I could watch for hours and never utter a word recording everything around me, taking it all in – every detail – watching lizards, spiders, birds, and exploring the rich paradise that was Santo Domingo. And reveled in the stories around me carried forward by the women in my life: my mother, aunts, maids, etc.
I have started this site in order to share stories of my family and my life. I have led the most exciting, complex, chaotic life full of ups and downs, adventures, lots of fun, lots of pain, but at the end, full of peace and happiness. I wish I could go back and tell that scared little girl that it is going to be alright. To relax and enjoy the ride.
I would like to dedicate these stories to my daughter, Avaryl, and my nieces and nephews — a generation free of political repression, anxieties, and fear, full of hope and open to every possibility. I am aware that your generation has no reference to relate to the world I grew up in. Even I, at this age, and in this reality, feel like this was just a movie I saw a long time ago, but, sadly, I know it was all very real.
I am adding entries in the Blog when I can. Short stories of memories, events, or just observations throughout my life. Browse through and comment if you like. I welcome any information you might be able to add to the stories.
Family Crest designed by my father in the late 1940s.
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