Sunday, June 18, 2006


Happy Father's Day!,
I have heard many people say that their dad is their hero. Those words were somewhat strange to me. A hero? It is somewhat fitting that I am featuring this Tim McGraw video, who wrote this song inspired by his dad. Out of wedlock, Tim did not know who his dad was until his adulthood.

Growing up, while not stranged, I was not close to my dad. He was a very serious man whose roar I was afraid of. Like he told me recently, 'you did not come with a manual'. He lost his own dad when he was in his early teens. My parents were just 21 when they got married. So when I was a teen they were just in their 30's. How people of their generation could be parents at that age baffles me.

My dad was (is) the typical latin guy. Mom cooked, cleaned, washed, ironed, etc. My dad could not fry eggs to save his life. He has a phobia of airplanes; so with the exception of two times, he would not go on a vacation with mom and I. Everytime mom came to visit me, she had to make sure someone was going to keep an eye over my dad's needs; food, clean clothes, etc. He would call her the minute she landed. That was a joke among my relatives, that dad would try to protect mom even though she was thousand of miles away.

When mom passed away in May 2004, no one imagined what was going to happen to my father. I was so worry, not only because of his 'needs', but also because I could not imagine dad alone. The fatal last day of mom, I arrived to the hospital in the early evening to find my dad destroyed. He had been crying all day. He did not want to go into the room with me, he could not bare to see my mom like that. His cry of anguish after the Doctor said there was nothing else to do, will live in my mind forever. I tried as much as I could to console him the weeks and moths to come.

A year later, my dad was already taking care of his needs. I had taught him how to wash clothes, how to separate them; which ones to dry and which ones to hang. I taught him what fabric softener was. How to cook simple things like rice in a rice cooker; put a cup of rice in, put a cup and a half of water, salt, close it and hit the cook button. I also showed him how to brew coffee. Everything in a different manner that my mom, who use to do it all the old school way; boil water with the coffee grinds and pour that mix into a cloth filter on its way into the cup. Mom never liked my coffee maker and would always carry that cloth filter whenever she came to visit.

On Christmas Day 2005, I woke up and dad had scrambled eggs with coffee ready for me!! The greatest thing is that nowadays Dad prepares things that neither mom nor I ever made. He mixes vegetables with his rice; he makes killer scrambled eggs with onions, and peppers; he also uses green peppers on his steaks. I did not teach him any of that! I joke with him by telling him that mom must be throwing a fit; 'why in the world couldn't he do that before?'. One day he even took a chance to brag; "look at the creases in my pants, can you do them like that?" Heck no, I thought, but I could not say it, I was too amazed for words. On the other hand he has learned of the oddities of losing socks, and shrinking shirts.

But best of all, Dad has definitely taken the place of my mom. I used to call mom every day just
to share little stupid things of life. He has learned of my need to do that, and listens to me. We talk, joke, laugh and share like we did not use to. We even talk of things we never talk of before. When I come home he makes sure everything is cleaned for me. And when I leave, he has those things that are typical of our hometowns, specially food items, ready for me to take. He has definitely stepped up for my mom when it comes to me.

Most importantly, dad had to come home everyday to an empty house, filled of ghostly memories. He had to get over mom's death in the hardest way. Now, the roles have switched, and he has become my strength and support. And not too long ago I was looking over our entire, and realized he has become a hero to me.

Happy Father's Day! You deserve it!

And Happy Father's Day to those who happen upon this blog; especially Fred and Michael A.


Blogger Southern Sweetheart said...

Sounds like your dad has bounced back pretty well. Congrats to him. I'm sure he feels a wealth of pride when he does for himself now, sure he misses your mom, but it has to give him some personal satisfaction to know he can make it and is doing so well. And it's great to hear that you've formed a closer friendship with him -- I can relate, after the passing of my father my mom and I became very close - and still are. I hope you've had a great Father's Day with him today! :)

11:44 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

Wooow....that was awesome.....thanks for sharing!!!

Have a great day!!!

12:56 AM  
Blogger erika said...

I am really glad you can have a bond like that with your father!

9:59 AM  
Blogger Green Eyes said...

What a great post. I'm glad you and your father have been able to become close.

I would bet money that your mom is defintely wondering why he didn't cook for her before! But, I'm sure she also loved being there for your Dad the way she was.

11:33 AM  
Blogger TMelendez said...

SS..when I was writing this I thought about your situation..sort of reverse... PRIDE?? hes gotten cocky! But God forbid that I dare to say that he has done something better than mom.

Lori.. maybe we'll go hunting for bugs next time Im at home!

Erika, TOO BAD he doesnt drink!! I shared a beer with mom now and then.

Eyes.. funny you should say.. as much as mom complained about all the chores she had, God forbid that Dad or I say something bad about her cooking.. her pride of giving us the best would not let her go quiet for more tha 3 seconds.

Thanks.. once I show him this, he's going to want to know who are these crazy people commenting in here..!!

7:51 PM  
Blogger Cheri said...

So amazing that you've been able to get so close to your dad. It's so wonderful that you were blessed to have such a great relationship with both your parents (even if they are at different points of your life).

You have such a way with words T!

2:05 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

T....hunting for thing I know it'll be snakes...LMAO!!!

Have a great day!!!

2:55 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

I grew up idolizing Tug when I lived in NY. I was a huge Mets fan. What an amazing story.

Speaking of amazing stories, it's great to see how close you and your dad have become. It's never too late, is it?

I wish my dad lived closer. We're very close, but it would be nice to have him right here to see the kids grow up.

Thanks for the HFD wishes. It sounds like yours was great.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Clo said...

What a nice story. Très belle... Thank you for sharing your feelings.

Profitez-bien du plaisir que vous avez avec votre Papa.

11:42 PM  

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