In the face of pain
the most distant beings become closer
and become similar the most different beings
José María Vitier
It’s hard to forget the saving embrace of the mother when, in childhood, fear, pain or sorrow cuddled us for just a few seconds of that happiness that seemed everlasting.
Later, with the passing of years, the fears and pains were different, but a mother's embrace stayed the same, with her immensity of shelter, comfort, support, relief.
Ever since last Friday, with the first shakes at the horror that took place at the Hotel Saratoga, all of us on this Island feel, once again and in many different ways, that embrace.
Either giving it or receiving it, the people of this little piece of the world come together in an unspeakable and giant hug that doesn’t care about names, only about chasing suffering away, clinging to hope.
Young people either boys or girls, the elders went to extend their arm to donate their blood, that portion of life in red, to help someone they don’t know but who had to be saved.
Firefighters, first responders, ministers, doctors, and nurses, governor and mayor, builders, architects, police officers, psychologists, the President of the Republic, electricians, leaders, experts, and specialists, teachers, neighbors… they put together shoulders and a lot of love because “in the face of pain the most distant beings become closer”, like the poet-musician once quoted.
The images and the experiences are right there: rescuers diving among masses of iron and danger, neighbors who gave away their snack so that the frightened children from school, already in the clear could have a snack; the stranger who hugged against his chest until almost melting with her the woman who could no longer withhold so many tears; the doctor who didn’t sleep saving lives; the journalist trying to prevent his voice from cracking at the microphone; the teacher who decided to protect her students first, and then her loved one; public servants who have also neglect to get some rest while coordinating, ensuring resources, speeding up tasks and also comforting.
This is how it is now, today, when the horror remains but skin deep, but also the willingness to help, rescue, rebuild.
And on this second Sunday in May, traditionally awaited with joy for being Mother's Day, although no one hears of celebrations, in any case we don’t overlook the day because, at this very moment, we are Cuba embracing them all, Mother Cuba.