I Don’t Know What it is to Live Without Fidel

By Dr. C. Fidel Antonio Castro Smirnov 
on November 24, 2017

I’m Fidel. My father is Fidel. My grandfather is and will always be the eternal and undefeated Fidel. My name is Fidel, and my life is called Fidel. My thoughts, my dreams, my hopes, are also called Fidel.

I can’t, neither should I, nor do I want to, say that I converse with him in all those occasions that I keep him in my mind, in my memory. But I want to say that I do have a need to talk to him and I do it often.

I can’t, neither should I, nor do I want to, say that Fidel is no longer physically with us. The warmness of Fidel may not be present. But what is present is the energy of Fidel, the work of Fidel, the impulse of Fidel, the strength of Fidel (stronger than any nuclear force), the dynamics of Fidel, the wave of Fidel, the light of Fidel (the most beautiful and intense), the movement of Fidel, the magnetism of Fidel, the time of Fidel, the conscience of Fidel, they are all very present and they will endure. And the energy, the work, the impulse the strength, the light, the movement (also interpreted as being the Fidelista social movement ), all this is physic, so consequently Fidel is physically present.

Fidel’s DNA is present in millions of revolutionaries inside and outside Cuba, in our America, and the world, consequently Fidel is biologically present. The chemistry of Fidel unites millions, including those who do not think like him but respect, admire and love him, consequently Fidel’s chemistry is present. All of science, gives us the cherished and beloved presence of Fidel among us.

I can’t, nor should I, say that there were a few occasions that I had my grandfather just for me, his tenderness, his showing of affection, his voice, its heat, its height and its strength, its intellectual and moral coat, his impressive stature, his poignant image, his captivating charisma , his words of encouragement, his valuable advice. Although logically I always wanted more, it comforts me now that I always strove and struggled to increase the time with Fidel so that I could have taken care of him, for helping him, accompanying him, sharing risks and endeavors with him, for providing happy moments. I had the immense privilege that for a considerable part of my life I was very close to Fidel, and therefore can, should and would,like to speak on behalf of those closest to Fidel.

I can’t, neither should I, nor want to say, either that there were many thousands of hours with Fidel, as a young person captivated by his ideas and his history, by his thinking and action, by his deeds and feats, as one more among millions. Many more hours of Fidel, with Fidel and for Fidel will come and they will never be enough. For this reason I consider myself morally identified with those who loved him from afar. I can, and I should and would, like to speak also on behalf of them.

All the time with Fidel, all those seconds, minutes, hours, all that time and I am unable to describe the relative and absolute time next to him, all that space lived in common, the years he collaborated with the companions who took care of him, some time when I provoked a laughter from him and even the time when I said something that bothered him.

I remember when I was very sick as a child and he visited me every day, and when we played chess, or when he showed me the historic rifle that he carried in the Sierra Maestra. I remember seeing him pensive, or seeing him happy for little things, or seeing him serious resolving many things, to watch him at sleep, or walking from here to there, to see him always safe and upbeat, always fighting, thinking, talking and working.

I remember to enjoy his everyday gestures; his voice close by, from afar, by phone, by radio, by television; hearing him awake and in dreams, deciphering his conspiratorial whisper; appreciate and enjoy his culture of detail; helping him in what was possible and impossible, in the easy and in the difficult; reaching to him with a glass of water, a pen, a speech; following him with his ideas, projects and experiments; accompanying him by land, sea and air, in heat or rain, in snow or in the middle of a hurricane; sitting beside him in a car, or a plane, or on a table, or so many hours behind him in a theater; walking behind him, to his side or in front guiding him with his steps. I remember putting his socks on, reading to him, suffering myself when I saw him in pain, rejoicing myself with his smile, serving him a glass of wine (and incidentally serve me a bit I as well, making sure before that that he was in an excellent mood).

I remember when he asked me the same questions about nanotechnology, the theory of relativity, of the universe, of mathematics, of history, of the sea, or what was I reading or researching, or for my parents and brothers, for their health…; that he would say to me: Fidel How are you? Take care! Come more often, I have a message for your dad… To tell me that I am his friend, that he introduced me to his best friend, Hugo Chávez, with whom we shared memorable family experiences.

Or that night at the end of the Cultural Gala for the Day of Independence of the United States, on July 4, 2002, I told him that I had something very serious to say to him. He took me to his office at the Palace, and I could finally say loudly to him: I love you so much. Then after his effusive and prolonged hug, he told me quietly and with some shyness, “me too, and do not ever forget that”.

Of making me so happy, and to see him making so many people happy. From a long list that it is hard to interrupt, all this and much more, constitutes the most precious and valuable time for me and the most happiest and endearing experiences. Fidel, my grandfather motivated me, inspired me, gave me strength, impulse and guided me, he impressed me every day. I love him, I admire him, I miss him no more or less than a year ago, no more nor less than I will in one year, 2, 5, 10, or 20 years that I will live before going to look for him whatever he is, moreover of the science and Marxism.

I never said goodbye to him and never will. To think that I cannot hug him or hold his hand, or to hear him clear his throat, to listen to him closely, very attentively, to appreciate the expressiveness of his hands permanently on the lookout for a loving contact, feel again his hand on my shoulder, seeing him up close and touching him, giving him a kiss, joking with him, provide for him, hold his glass or cup if he was falling asleep, to personally hand him a diploma, ask him many questions as they arise and to receive answers from him that I need now; to try to answer his endless flow of questions for which I still am still looking for the answers, and how he could suprise me by the brilliant intellectual mechanism that could still make remarkable formulations at such an advanced age. All this and much more causes me ineffable pain that increases over time, which never goes away and much less allows me to learn to live with that pain.

I must say though, even if don’t want to, that I have not overcome the loss. To alleviate that pain, that is very easy to say, it is one of my greatest challenges and a duty to my own health. Also it is a challenge to discover how to turn pain into happiness, how to search for it and find it, to reduce the inevitable anxiety with daily tributes to Fidel.

I make my path by walking in the middle of that challenge, I spend much time looking for resources to avoid and mitigate the heartbreaking mourning so this does not dominate me or control me. I visit almost monthly Santiago de Cuba and spend many hours near the Rebel Stone that teaches and illuminates us. I threw myself in a parachute from 4 km high to pay tribute to Fidel, while hugging a flag that bears his image.

At the present time, I continue to have the immense privilege to be one more of his collaborators, accompany him concretely with my time and energy in one of his scientific projects. I continue to comply with what he told me on August 13, 2002, “ when you graduate, you will go to the University of Informatics Sciences (that was around one month before the UCI started classes, almost 15 years ago). It was precisely in the UCI when on April 29, 2016 we organized for the first time “A jump for Fidel”, where 26 parachute jumpers challenged gravity and the altitude to send out a message of love and homage to the Commander on the occasion of his 90’s birthday, giving him a happy moment when he watched our video. I should and want to repeat, as soon as possible, once and again “A jump for Fidel”.

I also feel honored to have dedicated the national prize I received at the Academy of Sciences of Cuba, with the title of Lead Researcher to him. I feel honored to come to Santiago de Cuba to talk to him, to tell him my thoughts, my plans, to congratulate him on the day of the Fathers, to celebrate his birthday, to give him love. And to leave safer, full of strength, motivation, and energy. Once again, infinite thanks Grandpa! And like you said, in the life of grateful men, infinity plus one, is much more than infinite. Exquisite, rigorous and deep, the mathematics of Fidel.

It is an honor for me to have started to collaborate with the University of the Oriente, with the Biophysics Medical Center founded by him, and that they have granted me the immense privilege of being part of the honorary class for the Study of the Thought and Work of Fidel. My two messages to my beloved grandfather, written in the book at Santa Ifigenia were published and resulted in beautiful and poignant comments on the Network of Networks. Infinite thanks to all.

I can’t, nor should I, ever say that I cannot live without Fidel. I don’t know what it is to live without Fidel. I choose to live happily with Fidel, and thus I modestly contribute, that Fidel continues to be happy.

Every day I remember his advice from October 20, 2004, when in the midst of the tremendous anguish for his accident in Santa Clara, he told me, “don’t be sad!” Yes I should and want to say that I will keep trying to fulfill the request from a grandfather who does not like seeing a grandchild suffer. I choose the joy of always feeling him with me, and although it never overcomes my loss, our loss, I will know how to live happily with my deep feelings for my grandfather, my friend, my teacher, my paradigm, my Commander in Chief, for the great Fidel, who is always present with immense and special affection.

And the conviction of being happy to keep such valuable experiences, the conviction to continue complying with him, is what allows me to take him with me, happy and alive, every day.

As one among millions who will never let his hands go, those who took care of him and will continue to do so always, his collaborators, friends, from those who attempted to get close to the best of his example and who collectively say “I’m Fidel”, of the men of science and thoughts which he formed, of those who love him from near and far, as a result of what he planted and as one more of the family who love him so much, I send him again many kisses, a strong hug, and my most sincere and heartfelt tribute from a year of his recent voyage.

From one year of the day chosen by him to embark to new battles, my time continues to be the time of Fidel!

This article is part of the Special Issue of Resumen Latinoamericano – Cuba, November 2017 dedicated to Fidel Castro, in the year anniversary of his passage to immortality.

Yo no sé lo que es vivir sin Fidel: testimonio de un nieto

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano