The following post was written by Kikita.
For Lucy's Happy Sweet 16th Birthday, Mami got tickets for us all to see the stage show “Fiddler on the Roof” on opening night. (Luckily, opening night also happened to be Lucy's birthday, is that so accidentally cool or what?)
Anyway, the moment Topol walked out onto the stage the audience burst into applause and I got chills. I felt like I was watching history in the making.
Before I was able to think about what was happening, the first song started, “Tradition,” and I was instantly transported elsewhere. The tears just started to roll. I couldn't help remembering the video I'd made a couple years ago and how much I missed my Tio.
At intermission, I overheard two women speaking in Spanish. They caught my attention so I stopped and asked them were they were from, “De Cuba, Oriente.” They'd been here for over 30 years.
One of them said, “I guess we are more American than we are Cuban now . . .”
But the other quickly chimed in, “We will ALWAYS be Cuban.”
I had to agree, “We will ALWAYS be Cuban.”
As I sat down to watch the 2nd half of the show, I was rather distracted. My thoughts kept straying back to Cuba. I couldn't stop thinking about all the Jews that had ended up there after being forced to leave their homes as in this story.
What really hit home with me, though, was how parallel the story was to any given Cuban's story.
There it was, the home and family being ripped apart. Losing everything and being forced to start over . . . and heading to America.
The people of Anatevka were singing:
“Soon I'll be a stranger in a strange new place,
Searching for an old familiar face
And, having just had a run in with people from my own “Anatevka,” that line meant so much more to me. I cried harder than I would have because now I was missing Cuba, not just suffering with the characters in a play, now this show was about me. My family's history was intertwined with theirs.
After the show I was deep in my own thoughts and waiting for the rest of my group when there were the two Cuban women I'd met. They came up and hugged me tightly. The hug said it all. I wasn't the only one who had felt the parallels. We are happy living our lives in this great country that we have made our home, but incapable of forgetting where we came from.
What does it all mean? I have no idea.
The best I can do is accept that no matter how alone I feel, I'm not. That it doesn't matter what my geographical location is, if I am meant to meet someone, ANYONE, I will.
God has a plan.
Everything is under control.
So, despite the painful reminder of the loss of my familial homeland, sharing that moment with those two women gave me hope.