Saturday, November 28, 2009


It's been a rough week. My dad had his 2nd chemo on Wednesday. He has been steadily degenerating and losing so much weight. He no longer has any muscle tone in his arms or legs; he has difficulty walking. It is staggering to see what this disease has done to him in so short a time. There are still many things to give thanks for - I haven't forgotten that - but with my dad on his way to the emergency room as I write this... it's hard to think about anything else.

I am posting a picture of my father taken about a year ago. He looks nothing like this now. He looks like he is 100 years old. But this man that you see here is my father. A wonderful father. A man who left everyone he every knew or loved - his ENTIRE family - without exception - to bring my brothers and I to the United States knowing he would never see his family again (he was never able to see his father again but when the flights to Cuba opened he did get to see his mother before she died). He spent his first sunrise in the United States washing plates in a kitchen in New Jersey. What a sacrifice he made for us! Only now as an adult, when I think about what he did do I realize the magnitude of his sacrifice.

My dad was always very strict. Edwardian strict!! I was not allowed to drive (women do not need to drive -men will take them where they need to go) and only got my driver's license after I got married! I was not allowed to wear jeans, ankle bracelets, makeup.... you name it. I was not allowed to go to movie theaters or "out' with friends. No such thing in my household! There were two telephones in my house, one in the kitchen and one in my parent's room. I was not allowed to sit down while I was on the phone because I would not be on the phone long enough to need to!

It was tough being his daughter in the 70's when everyone else got to do anything they wanted. It was TOUGH to take my MOTHER to my high school prom as my chaperone because that was the only way he would let me go. It was RIDICULOUS when my former husband and I had to take my grandmother with me THE DAY BEFORE MY WEDDING to make changes to the flower arrangements for the wedding (even though we had been married civilly for days!) because I was not allowed to be alone with him until AFTER the wedding! Yep! It was tough and I admit there were days I wanted to STRANGLE him! But from him I learned about loyalty and love for your family, about decency and self respect. About protecting those you love even against themselves.

I know that everyone feels their dad was the "best" dad in the world. Allow me this moment to share with you that this man, this very humble man who worked as a mechanic since he was 10 years old, who gave everything he ever had to his children is the best man I have ever known.


  1. This was very sweet for you to share these thoughts of your Father., even though strict, it seems you were embeded with lots of love and learn to know how much family means to you...
    Prayers for you Dad!

  2. Sorry for the difficulty you're father is having at the moment. I've been there with my mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Great quote at the top of this post.

  3. I hope he comes through it!Miracles can happen

  4. God Bless and keep you both, I pray for peace and comfort for your dad and strength for you and your family.

    I am 49, and also grew up in the 70's with strict parents...but I was allowed to wear jeans, and get my learner's permit etc for driving., no phone of my own though.

    so did you live in NJ? and where at...I was born, raised and still live here :)
    Love you Girl!