and Gerardo: Encounter for a whole life
are big and more expressive than what she thinks . that is why loves comes out
for Gerardo, a love that goes beyond frontiers of their own personal history to
turn into something tangible, in a miracle that in some way involves good
The morning in
which Adriana O´Connor met Gerardo
Hernández who is now jailed in the United States for struggling against
terrorism, was not a coincidence but the beginning of a story that will never
come to an end.
That is why
remembrances are brought back, and it would seem that Gerardo is going to come
at once by her, at the rocking chair of the porch of the house located in the
outskirts of Havana, where happiness is a main part of the environment.
and I met at the end of the year 86, in a bus stop. It was a casual encounter,
since It was late for me and he used to go to school in his father's car. I sat
down and he stood standing , at my side: "it is a shame some people are so
ill considered that do not take the bag of those who are standing" My
friend looks and I make signals to take his, but he said he had been talking in
favor of the man besides him. I
realize that the guy was short and ask his bag.
asked afterwards if were students, my friend answered him : What about you, are
you also a student? And he said that he was in the fourth year of the
" Next day
, we took the bus as usual and I notice that when the bus stops he gets in. I
ask his bag , he gives it to me and I continued studying . then he tells me.
"in order for you to see that letters do not have anything to do with
Chemistry." and he gets out a white envelope with a folded paper. I see
this is a poem, but I had not time
for me to deny it nor accept it, because in that very moment a friend of his
gets in, and started to talk. I placed the poem in my notebook. The title was:
Poem for the girl in the bus stop. There I find out he was a student of
International Affairs , since he said so in his verse, and It was dated the day
and the hour in which we saw each other for the first time, September 20, at
complicity of the classroom mates might come , when they reserved two seats for
them to travel together, Adriana´s finding that Gerardo had renounced to the
comfort of his daddy's car to share a while with her, and the support of friends
for her to make her mind to accept him in the first date.
invitation was in a theater; then the usual thing was to go to the movies , top
the beach, but he invited me to the theater, that Sunday, afternoon and when we
met , we realized that, without agreeing before hand , we had both dressed in
" The play
was related with every day life, and from there we went to Coppelia . When we
crossed the street, the only thing he did was to gently touch my back , with the
tip of his fingers, to help me to cross. He did not even touch me. We got to
Malecón and started to talk of the family, of studies, of music, of things we
both liked, of his daddy , mummy and sisters…"
On Friday ,
Adriana had a test, and for the first time, she got a note under 80 points. That
data and his enthusiasm for reading a
sample of the newspaper that Gerardo used to issue at the University until the
point of not listening to a professor when he called her and she had to
apologize in front of her classmates, ands made her understand what she was not
willing to recognize in public: "she was in love , but mainly, that man was
going to form part of her life for a long time."
continued to get closer and the young lady of 16 years and the boy of 21, that
everyday got up at 4.A.M. to cut the first rose of the day and give it to her.
made a commitment as fiancés on November. Once I had classes later in the
afternoon, but he told me he had to go early- although I knew it was not true-
and asked me , however, to go at the same hour to go the beach of the 16 street.
We sat there , at 7 to 10 in the morning. He shoed a ship far beyond, then he
said there is another here, and when turn my face, there was none, just him. At
7.05 in the morning of November 7, 1986, Gerardo gave me the first kiss."
Since then a
relation based on interest and common worries , sharing every moment together,
to start building a mutual happiness and turn every instant a motive to
celebrate through our engagement that
lasted one year and eight months.
something without setbacks , with a lot of union ,creating the basis for a good
marriage. We decided to marry on July 15, 198, at 5. p.m. , a day with a lot of
heat. From there, things were joined to feel ourselves very identified."
believe Gerardo is only joke, but he is not. Gerardo is a person that faces life
with optimism that laughing gives him , and at the same time with jokes and jeer
give people optimism, he is very responsible, quite,. He always analyzes every
detail , but without leaving one side for laughing; that has helped him, and
those who are at his side, because he enjoys to make the rest laugh.
is characterized by many things; he is extremely loving, respectful, sensible,
he does not like to hurt anybody with what he says or does, with a great sense
of humor. That may be helps him to keep himself stable inside.
very difficult to find a person with so many qualities , to the point that you
do not feel that what you do is
something it is not worthwhile and that gives him the magnitude of his values.
He keeps good relations with everybody, he is the kind of people that you want
as a friend, very disciplined, without stopping to be strict nor intolerant, I
think I am more intolerant than him and that is something that compensates me.
"he is not
disciplined one hundred per cent, he does not
like routine, nor methods, he prefers to do several things at the same
time and finishing them according to the needs, he is enterprising , looking for
things he prefers, he gives much love, and shows you what he feels, he
recognizes the value you mean for him.
has a lot of adjectives, he is sensible to everything, from the beauty of a
flower until the reject to any act of aggression or violence.
He is in favor
of justice, he has never had a difference with anybody, nor a boy, he always
mediated in fights among friends, trying to give a solution , but without violence.
reading, films transmitting something interest, the music programs, comedies,
mystery, historical ones .he likes journalism and thought to study that as a
authors, he prefers Gabriel García Marquez and Isabel Allende, among others and
of foreign actors, he likes Charles Chaplin, Edie Murphy, Jim Carrey, Robert de
Niro, meanwhile with respect to the Cuban actors, he did not loose what Mario
Balmaseda was doling.
with sport series, baseball , Benedetti poems, Retamar, Wichi Nogueras, form
part of his world.
you can talk of any theme and he has the gift of knowing how to talk with
everyone no matter his social condition or religion, he always finds a theme to
Gerardo went to
Angola, the day before it was our first year of anniversary of our marriage.
When he returned the first time, and then when he came back of some trip, I have
always been the last one to receive him.
already see him walk, salute everybody and we met at the door, I a step higher,
and as he is taller than me, we were equal, and tells me ; "My girl , how
much I wished to see you", we gave a hug , a kiss, and then I realize how
thin he was , later anecdotes came, very impressed by war, of seeing so much
poverty, misery, so much human damage.
" It has
been eight years far away, I have been almost half of my life dedicated to him,
but I do not consider a weak marriage relation, nor unique, what makes us
difference to other couples is that in spite of distance we have felt very close
one from the other, it a love I confess beyond times, that has had to surpass
many bitter moments but standing
always told me that he prefers to know things at the moment. He is aware
distance does not allow him to participate in a direct way to the things I have
to face, but his support is what is important , he knows , he gives
his criteria, we share if it was an unhappy decision or not, I join the
criteria to any other decision to be taken later, but always there is support.
"This is a
dream that is limited right now, stopped in the distance. I had prepared the
baby's layette , but I was studying and after he started to travel so then we
decided to leave it , because it is not normal for a couple to live like that.
loves kids, he has a great
skill in drawing, that entertains children.
wanted to have two kids and I would like to have at least one, but if if it were
not possible , it does not matter, we have a lot of nephews from the family and
received the news that Gerardo was in jail, I was paralyzed ; then I realized I
was not breathing meanwhile I was given the news, I kept myself serene , and
then later I took my time to analyze what had happened , and then I knew I
precisely had that reaction because I
had been a happy person , with remembrances to support me.
last four years have been charged with very strong emotions, because he lost his
sister on February 98, a sister who was his guide, together to his father,
someone on whom he saw his image , because she was the person who had helped,
accompanied, transmitted many moral values to him which at the same time she had
received from her father, highly admired by Gerardo.
her in a air crash . that death along with his father's and a friend's must have
meant for him the three saddest moments with respect to feelings, because it is
when you begin to analyze things of life that leave serious marks on you, even
more if you far away, knowing his nephews who are teenagers have been kept
without a other , he is very straight, and very strong and that he could not be
in his condition of uncle and as a man of the
September of that same date, Gerardo is jailed, under circumstances of a
complete in communication with the family, without knowing how the family was
assimilating what was going on with him.
stayed without communication for two years and three months. A very tough time,
very difficult if you take into account you have to go on with life as nothing
was happening to protect him. On December 30 , 2000 was the first time we talked
to each other. I took as a gift of the year 2001. It was a tough period and that
call was the first joy, a small spark of life to hear his voice and I believe
that he kept his serenity.
"It was a
very dark day, it was continuously raining and then I was very cold for more
than an hour. I felt my knees shaking and my stomach was jumping, I laughed but
I did not cry, he neither. We spoke some 12 minutes. I did not know anything
about him since January 98. Then our mail began and the phone calls."
been together for 16 years. We have two thing in life: friends and family. We
have not been able to have our family, but to live near Gerardo is to make true that dream as a teenager that you
experience in a soap opera, it is just a person I had dreamt.
defects as everybody else, but these are not defects you can not live with, but
if you add he gives you a lot of joy , of details, he asks you about difficult
things with delicacy and a smile you do not have any other option just to give
He as been far
but always present . We lived our
marriage , thinking it was the last day and we did with intensity , we had the
possibility to live another day and we did , always seeing nothing to be left to
be done. Even after married we met ourselves in bus stops to enjoy that moment,
we talked a lot.
gave her great courage to our relation, he always does, because he is very
expressive, very flattering and
There is a
telepathy communication, because sometimes I write the same theme in a letter
and there comes his coinciding in time with the same subject I had already
talked about and there gets even the answer I was expecting. By means of a mail
we discussed a film, a family problem, sports.
history is never going to have an end, because we are not in favor of monotony,
and that enriches the relation. Few people may be have the chance of living this
love and even if we are involved in this situation, nothing makes you regret to
have been married with him and think it was a bad decision.
things I will never regret: having met and having married him and to have
I feel sadness
and nostalgia deep inside, I will not go on shouting , but I do not feel
frustrated, I feel full of life, of that life for which I am struggling to meet
Gerardo again , no matter if it is in the USA or in Cuba to live for ever.
I have always
been afraid of living together , it
has been many years living separated, but he tells me he is able to recover that
time and that makes you think about the future, either the future as a couple ,
as parents, to have kids, of being able to enjoy all those things.
Seated with a
fresh air of that spring afternoon , I did not know how time went by , because I
enjoyed every minute of that beautiful story, and for the first time I knew it
happens like in fairy tails after the end.
And we can not
say it has an end. The ending will be when we manage to live together and he
returns to Cuba, but the rest of the story , will never have an end.