El susto de su vida
My mother remembers “ el susto de su vida” the scare of her life came on the day that we were to leave Cuba, the three of us had had “saranpion” chicken pox a week earlier due to an outbreak in the country. She recalls the night before we actually flew out we had to spend the night at the airport, it was hot and mosquitoes everywhere, there was another family with a child that would not stop crying, my mother stepped in and helped out the mother by carrying her child while the mother tended to her other kids, the child had chicken pox and could not stop scratching, so he cried all night long. In every flight leaving Cuba there was an American Customs officer looking out for sick people who had been affected with the chicken pox outbreak or any other disease, since we had had it a week earlier the marks were still there. The family with the kid which was crying all night was just ahead of my family on the boarding order and they did not allow the family to fly because of the boy and his brothers having marks all throughout their body. Was mom was now petrified knowing that we still had marks from the chicken pox even though we had gotten over them, what saved us was that my grandmother had made the three of us long sleeve-shirts from a blanket weeks earlier and our arms were hiding the red spots. As we were told to board the plane, my mother had to be prompted by the security officer to move on ahead and into the plane because my mother actually froze with the thought of having to stay in Cuba because of our marks, even once inside the plane she worried that until the plane took off the American representative would come and get us and you never knew when your number would come up again to leave. I took our family 5 years after signing up to actually have our permit to get out and that was on my mother’s mind, what if it takes another 5 years because once a child turns 14 he had to file on his own to leave the country. My mother knew of families who had applied to leave prior to their child turning 14 and receiving their permit after the age and the child having to stay behind with one of the parents staying with the child, so many families were broken up because of this rule. When my mother got the word that we had our permit to leave, she had 48 hours to get to my dad and my uncle Leonel who was also leaving with us. A neighbor named Pedro Morro helped out my mom by going to go pick up Leonel with his car and another neighbor put the money for the gas. While --- to get my dad where he was cutting sugar cane.