I’m going to California

Daddy,

It’s been so long since we traveled together. The last time you and I shared the open road was in May 2008. It will not be an easy trip, daddy, because you won’t be there to be my navigator, albeit always a sleeping navigator.

We will be going to the Grand Canyon, also, daddy. If not for you, I would not have even cared enough to brave the elements with this delicate integumentary system you gifted me. It was our nights watching the stars that make me yearn for nature, even when I’m allergic to most all that isn’t me (and even then I could swear I cause myself allergic reactions).

I will be going to Hoover Dam, which I know I could have learned about from you, your extensive reading and curiosity having probed beyond the  pamphlet teaser. I will have to probe on my own this time, daddy.

But don’t worry, daddy. You’ve imbued my life with sufficient love of learning and active thinking that you WILL be there with me. I owe you much of what my life has become and though I will miss you eternally, I will honor your wishes and accept the cycle of life with gratitude for having had you in my life for as long as I did.

I’ve you, daddy. I always will. And with every other path I walk upon, your love and spirit will be by my side. In California, I will look to the stars and moon, from a different city, and remember our countless nights watching the night sky. You will be there with me, for you are always in my heart.

Your daughter,

La Despeinada

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In My Daddy’s Honor, Hell Hath No Fury

Of all things despicable, mistreating the segments of our community without a voice or vote is among the worst. There are so many of our people in nursing homes whose families bother not in visiting them. It is the saddest thing to see. To enter the places where our old and ailing are struggling just to make it through the lonely day without their loved ones is to see how one can quickly lose humanity. What is so wrong with the nursing homes of America? The apathy that quickly sets in once one person in the position to effect change takes their needs as secondary to more financially-driven ones. It is simply unacceptable to allow those incarcerated in such a place live on without at least the dignity of having an advocate to bring their situations to light.

But, I ask, to what avail? The sad fact is that most of the country is anesthetized to the quiet aspects of the breakdown of our society. Family is the foundation upon which we grow our future. When that is not respected and nurtured, we begin to decay. Our day has been coming for ages. When we see parents neglect their children, is it then only fair that children, in turn, forget parents when they reach old age? Or are we not to learn the pernicious aspect of such disdain for our moral duty to our familial relations? Should we not break the perpetual cycle of neglect and discontent? Should we not rise above all the baseness that can express itself in human nature? I, for one, though my parents weren’t always the examples of what good parenting is, have tried to fulfill my obligations to those who–right or wrong–brought me up: Honor thy parents. They have been the set of parenting representatives that have been in my life throughout its entirety. So what does that have to do with scornful females whose fury is said to temper the fury that Hell itself is, or something of the sort? My daddy was in a nursing home, my daddy was mistreated, my daddy was neglected, my daddy lost his life to the intricacies of this system that provides not a decent end-of-life experience to our elders.

My daddy had to be placed in a home, against our will, and was gifted malnutrition, sepsis, pneumonia, and his eventual death. Thank you all, for not having loved my daddy the way we loved him. My daddy was taken by a system that doesn’t allow us to get old with dignity.

In all this, though, I have nothing but thanks to give to our Creator for having allowed me to be with my daddy the last days of his life. I held his hand through this hard time just as he held mine through mine own. A more grateful subject I cannot be. I have loved intensely, lost deeply, and regretted most profoundly. I have been vulnerable to the life I’ve been given, but I have learned a lot about what matters. I try to make myself go back and volunteer at these homes where many are alone, though within multitudes of others, but I find it very hard yet. I still feel my daddy’s presence and find that he has permeated all aspects of my life, even those he didn’t necessarily agree with. One day, though, I hope to find the strength to go back and give of what time I have–in my daddy’s honor.

 

(Originally posted on “My House” blogspot on February 24, 2011 titled “Hell Hath No Fury”)

Dia de los Padres, June 19, 2011

Querido Padre,

Hoy es Dia del Padre. Hoy, existo sin tu presencia, querido papito. El dolor no se puede expresar porque mi corazon se reusa a la idea de haberte perdido en cuerpo, aunque no en alma. El decir que te amo es insuficiente, porque lo que mi corazon siente no se puede contener en explicaciones en cualquier idioma. En mi vida he tenido pocas personas a las cuales les he tenido confianza. Por mas amados, tu eras mi padre y nadie era igual que mi padre, NADIE. Pero por mas amor que te tengo y mas dolor que ahora sufro, le doy gracias mil veces a Dios por habernos dado tanto tiempo juntos. Contigo vivi momentos muy felizes, momentos muy amargos, y dolores que hasta ahora empiezo a comprender.

Aunque no fuiste mucho de besos y abrazos, siempre senti un amor tan grande que aun ahora me ayuda en la vida e ironicamente para seguir adelante sin ti. Por mas contrarios que fuimos tu y yo, tuvimos tantos momentos tan bellos que tu amor por nosotros aun me consuelo con cada dia que pasa sin tin. A la fecha, ya casi son nueve meses de no verte la cara ni tomar tu mano en la mia. No he visto ojos mas bellos que los tuyos, papito de mi alma. Y el dolor de no poder caminar contigo, platicar contigo, bailar contigo, y simplemente de estar a tu lado me llena de inmensa tristeza que no he podido contener las lagrimas que me brotan al pensar en ti. Pero nunca te olvido y te doy mil veces gracias por todos los sacrificios que tu hiciste por nosotros. Por mas grunon que eras, el corazon te brotaba de amor por nosotros. Solo alguien ciego no lo pudo haber visto. Te doy mil gracias papito.

Ahora si pudiera volver el tiempo atras, y tener un dia de tus pensamientos claros, te diria que desde ya muchos anos perdone todas las faltas conmigo. Todos cometemos errores y nunca guardo resentimientos para contigo o mi mama. Los amo y amare por todo el tiempo que Dios me de de vida. Si pudiera, tambien te pediria perdon por todas mis faltas para contigo.  Hice lo que pude y por mas que quisiera, no hice mas por cosas de la vida. Lo que si quiero que sepas es que nunca senti nada mas que amor por ti, y por mi mama. Tu fuiste un hombre con muchos errores, pero eras humano en acciones al igual que en tus sentimientos nobles. Por todas tus cualidades, te amo. Solo le ruego a Dios que cuando El dicte ya mi ultimo dia de vida, que nos perdone nuestras faltas, todas, y nos reuna en el Paraiso.

Te adoro papito y aunque se que esta carta no te llega, lo escribo porque de alguna forma quiero expresar parte de mis sentimientos en este dia tan triste para mi. Feliz Dia de los Padres fueron todos los que tuve contigo desde que naci hasta las 01:40 a.m. del 6 de Octubre del 2010.

Nunca te olvido Big Daddy. Eres, y seras siempre, el primer gran amor de mi vida, al igual que mi madre.

This Sunday is my birthday, daddy. Remember?

Dear Daddy,

Always, at the promise of another fruitless and boring two months, we would all ring in the new summer with the utmost joy. It was cantaloupes and fresh watermelons dripping all over our clothes, windows rolled down as we blasted down the road on our way to Mexico, and countless time spent with you in the car while you transported us to worlds magical and far away. Summer was a promise of spending it with you, and my birthday was always my countdown marker.

Now, as I watch the days approaching the dreaded date, I think of you yet again and miss you, again. It was a lifetime I spent with you. Even after I married, I refused to leave Houston so as to be with you all. And now, as life makes us older and we are weathered and beaten down, I think of you and how great it was to have you in my life. I miss you. God has been too good to me. For all your faults and weaknesses and sins (yes, I omitted the comma on purpose), I was blessed to have had you and learned from you. You were a wad of wisdom and full of unconditional love for me. I will never know  another man who could love me that way, but you have filled me with love for myself and belief that God is great. Ironic, daddy, don’t you think? Especially since you wanted zero to do with religion.

Here I am, on the brink of another year gone by, and I’m missing you fiercely. You did what you set out to do, daddy. You were always there for us, and I will love you until my death for that. I carry you with me wherever I go.

In my life, you are a hero. Flaws and all, I love you all the same. I leave you with this prayer that one day you and I be reunited. And, when I see you again, in Paradise, God willing, we simply pick up where we left off. You and I, holding hands as we take a stroll and count our many blessings.

I yearn to see your beautiful eyes again, daddy, and to feel your loving embrace. Happy birthday to me, daddy, for the memories you gave me. I will forever be a daddy’s girl.

Your daughter,

Gaby, La despeinada

El Dia de las Madres

Daddy,

Ayer fue Dia de las Madres, en EEUU, y tu nos hiciste falta. El ver triste a mi madre, y sola porque Adriana esta en el hospital, fue una pena grandisima. Yo se que Dios quizo que tu ya no estuvieras, y que tu tiempo aqui con nosotros ya se habia terminado, pero ha sido una pena muy grande el no estar contigo. El no poder ver tus ojos o tomar tu mano me ha pesado en lo mas profundo de mi alma. Cuando volvere a tener ese amor incondicional, el que me mira con ojos de amor puro y ternura de un amor eterno, como el que me tenias? Nunca, papito, solo que sea mi madre.

Te extrano muchisimo y me duele cada dia que paso sin ti. Pasamos tantos anos juntos y vivimos tantas experiencias juntos que me parece una eternidad cada dia sin ti. Pero mi fe en Dios me mantiene fuerte, Daddy. Aunque nunca te gusto el que fuera “religiosa” te digo que ha sido esa fe en Dios que me ha sostenido. Si no por eso, estaria aun peor.

Ayer fue el Dia de las Madres, Daddy, y nos hiciste mucha falta. Ya casi van dos anos sin ti y la verdad es que diera hasta el mundo por estar contigo otra vez. Pero no puede ser, mas que en espiritu. Te adoro papito, aun mas ahora que tengo que mantenerme fuerte sin ti. Tu fuiste mi primer guia en este mundo, a lado de mi mama, y ahora que me faltas, me quedan las memorias de todo lo que me ensenaste. Te lo agradezco aun.

Bueno papito, termino esta carta y te digo que te adoro. Te extrano. Te agradezco todo lo que fuiste en mi vida y en muchas cosas solo por ti he alcanzado lo que hoy podido. Te adoro.

 

Gaby

Do you remember?

Do you remember, Daddy, when you and I would sit on top of the car and look at the stars?

I do remember.

Do you know that I am fascinated by the night sky because of that?

I do.

Do you realize that you were a huge influence in my life?

I realize.

I miss you, Daddy, but I honor you in my life with my life choices.

That’s what life is, choices.

I love you, Daddy. I miss you.

Gaby, life is a cycle. Don’t spend so much time mourning. Celebrate your loved ones in life. Gaby, you need to be a good person.

I will miss you, Daddy.

I will miss you too, Gaby.

I miss you, Daddy

Dear Dad,

Word cannot express the amount of pain I still feel, almost two years since you left me. There exists no remedy on earth that can fix a broken heart, but God has seen fit to take you from me and I have faith that He is wise and knows that it is what should be.

I have lived these last two years remembering you daily. There is not a day that goes by where I don’t have a moment in which I think of what you would have experienced in my company, or even how much you would have liked what I was experiencing. It is painful. We had so much life together, traveled to different places together, and took in the world through a life lived collectively, that I find that no matter where I go, I think of you. You were my hero, in many ways, because you were a constant in my life. Even when you weren’t around, I knew you were always supporting me. Your love was unconditional. That kind of love is rare. I hurt daily and think of you constantly.

Today, almost two years after having lost you, I think of just how much I have loved you. My first love. You and my mother have been the loves of my life. I would not be standing here if not for you and mom. I miss you. I pray that we are re-united in Heaven. I pray one day we are able, once again, to walk hand-in-hand and talk about the beauty of life.

I love you, Daddy. I miss you, Daddy. I hurt daily at not being able to look at your beautiful and loving eyes. I miss your unconditional love. Whenever you saw me, no matter what, your face would light up. Who can find that kind of love?

I will always love you.

 

Your daughter,

 

Gaby