This Sunday is Father’s Day. I want to share my father’s day story. I tried to write it sooner, but each time the memories would bring me to tears. This time I will push through it and be brave. Here we go. I am the youngest of (6) kids. I grew up living mostly with my mom and dad, because my family was separated for the first nine years of my life. (My siblings lived in Mexico with relatives.) My main caregiver was my dad due to my mother being ill; therefore I was closer to my dad than anyone else. If I needed compassion or advice I would go to him. My dad was the calmer of the two parents. He was the one that would take me to kindergarten and talk to the teacher about my progress. My most fond memory is when he would take me to McDonald’s for a happy meal as a fun thing to do. It was usually right before we both went grocery shopping at the Grand Central Market in Los Angeles. He and I were responsible for groceries. At home we would watch re-runs of The Lawrence Welk Show and Bruce Lee. Dad loved to listen to a good piece of orchestra music. He once told me that as a young man he had wanted to play in a band. He did not say much more about that subject again. It made him sad to talk about his love of music. (I would have to guess it ended, because of his arranged marriage to my mom.) What I remember the most from my childhood is that dad loved to help people. He would help relatives and friends find work. Sometimes he would have friends living with us to help them out through hard times. Through helping others he became very social in Los Angeles and had lots of contacts. It was interesting to watch my dad connect people with work and a place to live. My dad was a good man. Yes, he made lots of mistakes with his family and throughout the years he paid for them. My dad was very much human and compassionate. I will save you the horrible details of his last years and fast forward to the last moments of his life. He had been suffering for years of different complications and was on one kidney, when he suffered a heart attack. He had been in the hospital before and each time he had pulled through. It was right before Easter when he got hospitalized. I thought he would be alright, like all the times he had been in the hospital. The last conversation I had with him, I promised him a family dinner for Easter. I told him not to worry that he would be home by that time. He had to get better, so he could get to know my boyfriend. But days turned into weeks and dad fell into a comma and I never got to talk to him again. It was a Friday when the Doctor’s asked my family to let him go and take him off life support. To avoid any further suffering dad was taken off life support. There was a good chance he would fight and get better, so I thought. I spent the following (2) nights at the hospital by his side. My boyfriend was right next to me the whole time. Sunday came and I thought my dad was going to make it, because he looked better. I felt confident that he would wake-up, so I left for a few hours. It was my boyfriend’s birthday and his family was waiting for him to celebrate his big day. He wanted to introduce me to them for the first time on his birthday. It was a special day for him and his family had been planning for this day. Thinking my dad would escape death, I left. I got a call while at the birthday celebration to return to the hospital immediately. I rushed back to see my dad just laying on the bed peaceful, not struggling to breathe anymore. I picked him up and hugged his lifeless body. I wanted him back. I thought my love could bring him back. I needed him. My family had to pull me away from him. They kept saying, “He is gone”. It was the most painful day of my life. It took me years to realize the great significance of my dad passing on that specific day. I believe that my dad passed on my husband’s birthday, as a sign that he would be looking after me even after death. Tim the boyfriend is now my husband and the father of my two handsome boys. Tim is a great husband and father. My dad would have loved Tim and my boys. It has been a long time, over 15 years and I still miss my dad. If I had him one last time, I would tell him, " I love you to the moon and back and then some more, dad!”
Happy Father's Day!