Forever Grateful of You I will Stay…

IMG_6178.JPGIt was Friday July 13th 1962, my father had just turned 2 and the year anniversary of my families arrival to The United States was marked in historical familial matter… At Mercy Hospital in  Miami, Florida my Abuelo (my grandfather) sat to pen a letter to The U.S. Government and Florida State Department of Public Welfare thanking them for their helping hand.

I thought what would be more appropriate to culminate this Fourth of July weekend on The Y Life, than to share with you, that which is such a touching tribute to the Respect of Freedom.

On my behalf… Thank You to this great nation for opening its doors to my family, allotting me the opportunity to be born in a land of the free and home of the brave, where dreams truly become realities! I grew up understanding the truth of humanity, its vitality and its faults, its hope and its hurt… I’ve never not appreciated her grace and glory, her humility and hospitality, her inclusiveness and her independence. I will thank America for that, on behalf of my family, all the days of my life.

In the words of my Abuelo…

“With the present lines , I would like to express my eternal gratitude to this great nation through your legal representative at The Center for Cuban Refugees. Thank You to this new branch of the social security offices of North America, which is the center of the Cuban refugees, along with the company of my wife and children I have been able to enjoy the economic and medical aid, which has been afforded to us, by this great nation “the democratic leader of the world”.

Thank You again, through this economic assistance my family and the undersigned, have been able to face a new life.

We grew to fear living in our beloved homeland, thinking about losing everything we had built in her, and then immigrated to this holy land of Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and others. What would be our luck, that while I sought out work, you (The United States) saw our firm step of abandoning the communist regime, that today oppresses and destroys the Pearl of the Antilles, in order to reunite with our democratic brothers, it was not in vein. Thanks to God we landed on solid ground, which receives with loving open arms all those dignified Cubans, who embrace her (U.S.) political philosophies.

I hope to God that by letting go of this economic assistance, being given to me by “The Center of the Cuban Refugees”, it be only a link of the chain– from the desire of the exiled Cubans to work and earn “our daily bread” to sustain our Christian families, in a dignified, peaceful and joyous manner; all the while enthusiastically awaiting our return to our homeland of Marti, Maceo… To a Free and Independent Cuba.

Forever grateful of you I will stay,

Dr. Florencio Rigau”