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Count On MeCount On Me: Tales of Sisterhoods
and Fierce Friendships

In the letters from other friends and family, I feel a line drawn in the sand between those who stayed (the unlucky ones) and those of us who left (the lucky ones). In Mireyita’s letters I only feel the same loss. She lost her best friend. I lost mine. Our pain is equal. Those letters are my treasure, one of the few and scattered connections to a broken childhood and a homeland I barely remember. They confer immortality on my childhood, no matter the losses. They confirm who I was when political upheaval turned my world turbulent, but my life was made up of simple alliances like Mireyita’s and mine.”

— Read Fabi’s essay “Letters from Cuba” in the collection Count on Me: Tales of Sisterhoods and Fierce Friendships, edited by Adriana López, a project of Las Comadres para las Americas.

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Fifteen CandlesFifteen Candles: 15 Tales of Taffeta, Hairspray, Drunk Uncles, and other Quinceañera Stories

The year: 1974. A disgraced President Richard Nixon faced impeachment. Patty Hearst had been kidnapped. Miami had the Dolphins, the greatest football team, headed to a second national championship title. Russian dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov defected and joined the American Ballet Theatre. Roberta Flack swept the Grammys with Killing Me Softly with His Song. Duke Ellington died.

For me, it was the year of dreaming, and back then, as it has always been throughout my life, the dream can be summed up in one quest: Freedom.”

— Read Fabi's essay "The Year of Dreaming: A Tale of Two Quinceañeras," in the
anthology Fifteen Candles, edited by Adriana Lopez.

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The Empty NestThe Empty Nest: 31 Parents Tell the Truth about Relationships, Love, and Freedom After the Kids Fly the Coop.

Without Erica in the house, with her six hours away from me, I could live out dreams deferred by motherhood: Spur of the moment weekend trips in my convertible, a month in my favorite Latin American city, Buenos Aires, with my favorite party-hardy cousin. I would take French lessons, shutter up the house, buy a ticket to Paris with an open return and search for the charming Frenchman who once showed me the way to The Great Sphinx of Tanis at the Louvre. I would write about my adventures. I would write the great Cuban-American novel without interruptions at the height of inspiration. Surely, with Erica living it up at college, my cellphone would stop constantly ringing with requests for permission to do this and that.
I could even have a man over without having to explain myself!
On and on went my fantasies.

So — now that Liberation Day was here, and my nest was truly,
completely, finally empty — why couldn't I put on my dancing shoes?

— Read Fabi's essay in The Empty Nest, edited by Karen Stabiner.

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