A fantastic story, Christina — all of it, including your mother’s very lovely and heartfelt poem.
Living in Florida with a mostly Hispanic family (not me, though) and many Hispanic friends, I certainly have heard stories of the old Cuba. I am, in fact, reading the book Learning to Die in Miami — Confessions of a Cuban Boy by Carlos Eire, who was brought to the U.S. as part of Operación Pedro Pan.
I am happy you’ve finally found a place that feels like home.
Thank you so very much for sharing your story here in Weeds & Wildflowers! It’s a pleasure to have you as a contributor.