The phone began ringing at my house last night about 9:30 p.m., news about Fidel Castro's power transfer
buzzing through the lines. "Did you hear?" the conversations started.
Like most Cuban-Americans my age -- I'm 49 -- we grew up with talk about Fidel's impending demise. We heard it at the breakfast table, while soaking up rays at the beach, at weddings and funerals and all manner of celebrations. He was always perched at the precipice of death or overthrow, or so it seemed.
Thing is, we heard this so many times, with varying measures of glee, that we developed a tin ear. At least I did. Meanwhile, our lives went on. We graduated high school, headed for universities. We married, formed families, developed careers. In other words, we settled in.
Talk about returning to Cuba was the Muzak of our daily lives.
Now, once again, fresh news about Fidel's inevitable death prompts many to ask: Will you return to Cuba?
No. Miami is where I want to stay. This is where I grew up, where I married, where I've raised my children. I suspect most in my generation will feel the same. As for my parents, it may be too late for a return. My mother died four years ago this week, and my father has spent more years in the U.S. than on the island. Somewhere along the way we've redefined home.