It is not about who you are, but rather what you can become. With that absolute certainty Moraima Ruíz Lemus, has built her life and has embellished the existence of others.
This 69-year-old woman was born in a poor home, in a large family on the banks of the Jaruco River, a few years before the triumph of the Revolution.
And it was precisely on the hardest of those times that she forged her courage, her strength and a special weakness for the weak and the needy.
The rudeness of country life did not hinder her manners, or her hands, but rather gave her skill and delicacy to bring out the brightness of the saddest and darkest things.
That is why her mastery to convert abandoned toys into elegant princesses is admirable. And it doesn’t require much to wear them, just a few pieces of cloth, cardboard, plastic, ornaments that someone forgot in a drawer. With all those precious resources and a broken doll, then create a beautiful gift.
“I never had a doll although I liked them a lot. Imagine, we were eight brothers, and at home my mother patched by hand because we didn’t have a sewing machine. ”
Moraima evokes fragments of childhood to turn the page on her youth.
“Nobody taught me how to sew, but I had four children and the need forced me. I disassembled a short and a robe, and with that mold I sewed the clothes of my children, two females and two males. ”
Ana Betancourt schools opened their doors in the 70s in Jaruco, but that was an impossible dream to caress for a woman like her, with such a numerous offspring.
However, she survived in her spirit an indescribable fascination with sewing and everything good that she could offer herself and her own, if she managed to have a sewing machine.
“The father of my children earned very little, but when my children were older, my brother-in-law lent me 160 pesos and I bought my first sewing machine.”
Since then, everything seems to indicate that machine and woman were coupled forever, and until today, thanks to that symbiosis, Moraima has never stopped serving and offering itself to people.
In addition to the gift to rescue from oblivion and abandonment the ugliest and neglected dolls, she makes bags, beautiful clothes for the kitchen, cushions …, they hardly even notice. ”
Today Moraima still lives in Jaruco, but in a more comfortable house surrounded by children, grandchildren. Her home is easy to recognize because everything there smells new, clean, and alive.
Finding it is also not difficult being the most sought after and acclaimed among neighbors and family. And it is that few surpass it in grace and enthusiasm for sewing and also for the kitchen.
The day I discovered this woman’s vocation, some broken dolls rested in her bed. I did not feel sadness, as happens to me other times when I see a similar picture, is that under the hands of a fairy anyone is assured of a better destiny.
Translated by Ada Iris Guerrero