“Ofelia Se Fue Por Mejor Vida”
I had just left Cathedral Square headed in the direction of La Bodeguita Del Medio on Calle Empedrado when I first laid eyes on Ofelia ~ I knew that this was a face that I wanted to capture. Slowly as I approached her, I looked up in another direction hoping that she too would look and see what it was that I was interested in and then catch her off guard ~ I slowly turned my camera on her and thru my lens was a finger wagging back and forth and a wonderful raspy voice telling me “ take picture ~ one dollar”. I agreed and took about six shots and she protested that the dollar was for one picture ~ I laughed, gave her a dollar and so started a friendship that has endured these fourteen years.
With every trip to Cuba and there were many, I would make it a point to visit Ofelia, to make sure that she was doing well but what I now realize is finding her was more for my own sanity. You see Ofelia kept my emotions, my spirit grounded. When I would go to Cuba I was flying by the seat of my pants on an emotional roller coaster that was quite intense. With her wit, the stories that she would share with me over café in her rooftop wooden home, my seeing her would give me a balance that I so needed.
Ofela is Cuba ~ she never quit and her outlook on life was always positive ~ she would always say in our conversations ~ Imaginate! (Imagine it)
Today my friend has gone on to a better life ~ Imaginate!
Ofelia ~ Gracias por todo ~ Nunca te voy a olvidar.