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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Father's Day

Payito, keeling, with tío Roberto
Payito with tío Roberto
 on his right 
For all the joy and all the fun that my father meant to me, to us, his family, as well as the fact that he was seldom given to displays of affection, I find it ironic that my more vivid memories of him revolve around a few episodes charged with emotion, tears at times.
Why I feel so? You see, my father was far from sophisticated, somebody that you really would have to make an effort to catalog as complicated. With people, there are always of course things that you puzzle over, why somebody does this or that. In that he was no exception.
What I mean by him being unsophisticated is that, as I learned over the years through the anecdotal retellings of his relatives and friends, throughout his life my father was pretty much unchanged in being who he was. A quiet, strong man, not given easily to emotions.
My father is my hero, I once replied to the teacher quizzing me and my classmates on who was the person we most admired. And in a room full of high school students among whose parents there were physicians and lawyers and wealthy landowners, both the fact that I could say it when nobody else thought likewise, coupled with my recognition that by their standards he was just an ordinary person, filled me with pride, even if he was not there to listen me say it. But he knew.
My first recollection of him dates from around my toddler years, when I probably wasn't even 3 years old. Don't call it exaggeration if I tell you that I can still remember my loud sobbing at seeing my father leave the house to join my uncles [one of them, Roberto, is standing next to him in the pix above] on some kind of errand that would take them away for who knows how long.
Come on, you might say, all kids cry at seeing their father or mother leave! True enough. What's different is that by that age I had already started to acknowledge that my father was the very first person that I consciously loved. As opposed to say the way I loved my mother, not any less but more in a kind of it follows that she's going to be loved anyhow. She is, after all, your mother, right?
An even stronger childhood memory of him was only a few years away.

1 comment:

  1. If everyone could feel the same way you feel about your father, this would be such a different world.