I have had a very privileged life.
My parents came here from Cuba in the 60’s.
My entire family was able to get out of there and I grew up very close to my grandparents, aunts and uncles. My family were great role models.
I received a lot of love, support, and encouragement from ALL of my aunts, uncles and my parents.
I saw all of them come to the United States with only a few dollars in their pocket and a desire to provide a better life for their family.
Castro came into power in January of 1959. Months later, my uncle and some friends were rounded up as being agitators of the revolution. In his court hearing, someone felt that my uncle was misidentified and he was released.
Unfortunately, my uncle was now on “the list”. Once you get on “the list,” in a communist country, your life becomes increasingly more dangerous. My grandfather realized this and immediately sent my uncle to the United States. At that time, the US still had direct flights and he was able to get out.
My aunt Amalia and my uncle Enrique were already living in Chicago. So, my uncle Raul came to Chicago and started a photography business.
Years later, my uncle married Ramona Nieves and they had a son, Raul Jr.
My uncle worked really hard. He woke up early and got home late. He was constantly doing events for christenings, graduations, weddings, communions and about any event where he could take photos.He worked 7 days a week and barely took vacations. And he was fine with that. His whole purpose in life was to take care of his family.
His hard work ethic was passed down to his son, my cousin, Raul Jr. He too has an insane work ethic. He went to medical school and did his residency at Rush University.
Watching my cousin excel in life was my uncle’s proudest moment and justified his years of hard work.
My uncle was a great role model as a family man. He had an endless amount of energy and incredible work ethic.
My uncle played a critical role in my upbringing and showed me how to take care of my family. I am grateful that I had him for 87 years and had the ability to hang out with him a lot. Watching him do his thing.
Floss like a madman! Emilio “Remembering Is Healing” Couret