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“I still miss those I loved who are no longer with me but I find I am grateful for having loved them. The gratitude has finally conquered the loss.” – Rita Mae Brown
I miss my father. I miss his voice. I miss his warmth. I miss his eyes so much. I miss his daily message to me, “No te pongas pendeja!” (means something like, “don’t be a sucker”) which was usually followed by a kiss and an “I lof you baby!”.
I miss his playfulness, even those embarrassing ones like the time he refused to pull his shirt down and insisted on walking around with his belly exposed. Well, actually this happened quite often, in the street, in the house, at family parties, etc.
And how can I forget the time my mom and I were out shopping with him and he let one roar in the middle of the toy store. OMG, I wanted to disappear inside my coat. I remember hearing my mom yell back, “I can’t believe this!!!” When I looked at my dad, he was just standing there smiling.
I also miss the time he decided to be his own store. He started selling Puerto Rican shirts, hats, and flags, out in the streets. At the same time, he was carrying my baby brother on his back in a big blue baby carrier. He would advertise by wearing the merchandise and waved flags as people passed by. It was quite a sight to see. But there he was, smiling.
I miss how my father never let his broken English deter him from speaking to anyone. I once waited an hour for my dad to get through one city block because he stopped and gave individual attention to everyone he knew along the way.
I miss his love for food. Nothing made that man more irritable than something that stood between him and eating. But if you set a plate of food in front of him, that blissful smile would emerge instantaneously.
I miss his generosity. I witnessed my dad many times give the last dollar in his pocket to someone in need. His philosophy was, “As long as I have, I will share with others…”.
I miss my father’s advice. One day he completed his daily saying to me with, “No te pongas pendeja. Que de las pendejas nadie escribe.”. That’s when I finally understood his message which was, “no one remembers the ones that didn’t try”.
Most of all, I miss his humility. My dad owned very little, lived a simple life, was sickly for many years, but he always found a reason to smile and enjoy his present.
I will forever be grateful for the blessing of knowing my father, for the beautiful memories, the great laughs, and the lessons that continue to unfold for me.
My gratitude truly conquers the loss. Like MasterCard says, “Priceless.”
write by Charles Minadeo