Friday, June 18, 2010



As father's day approaches, it is inevitable to hurt. To hurt more than I've ever hurt before. I miss you so much. This is my first father's day without you and I feel like I can't even breath.

I know you knew how much we loved you. I know you died proud of your children. But sometimes I wonder if we ever thanked you enough. When we came from Cuba you left everyone - EVERYONE you loved to get us out of there. How much did you suffer papi? How horrible it must have been for you to have lost your father without ever being able to see him again. I can not even imagine that kind of pain.

When we came to this country you were only 31 years old. With 3 small children, without knowing the language and without any hope of turning back. Were you scared? How many nights did you stay up wondering what would happen to us? A few days after arriving you were delivering milk in the early morning hours, working in a gas station all day and then washing dishes in a restaurant at night. And you were only 31 years old. The very first thing you purchased in this country was a black and white TV for my brothers and I. Nothing for you - it was never for you. It was always about us.

You worked three jobs so that I could dance ballet... so that my brothers and I could spend a Sunday at a zoo or at a park. So that we would not be stuck in a country that would oppress and enslave us. You worked like an animal your entire life and never once complained. I remember when I was in my late twenties, I went to see you at work and you were working under the hood of a car; bathed in sweat and grease... and I remember thinking... "have I told you how much I appreciate you"?

We moved to Puerto Rico and you made sure that we went to the best private schools, that we joined a social club to meet good friends, that we always dressed like the others in the club even though they had so much more money than we did! You didn't want us to feel less. We never stopped to thank you for that.

You made sure my brother had a good car when he turned 16. Much better than you ever had. You made sure my first car was a brand new car - even though you never in your entire life drove a new car.

I miss you papi, i told you before you died and I will tell you again and again... nobody will ever love me like you did. Nobody will ever love my brothers and I as passionately and as unconditionally as you did. I know I should be celebrating the fact that you were my father - that I was so lucky to have you. But right now all I want to is crawl under my blankets and cry for the man who I'll never be able to kiss again.

Happy father's day papi.


  1. I cried reading this,you can see by his eyes what a great guy he was and by his daughter why he was so proud!

  2. My dad was a gardener for the school system after retiring from the military. I remember taking him milkshakes after I got my driver's license because he'd be out in the sun all day. I remember him taking me to an art class on Saturdays for a while although he was working and going to college for the extra money the VA gave him for it. We were poor as medical bills piled up from my sister that the military wouldn't pay (it was open heart surgery with the brand new heart/lung machine and she was the 5th person to use it) but he never complained (nor did my mom who went to work too). Just kept going - like your dad. Enjoy the memories Elena. They get easier to enjoy as time goes by.

    Did you see today's lesson for our watercolor class? We are to turn a work into art. What about working on that lesson - using your name for your dad "Papi" or something you'd like to remember him by in your journal. That would be a great way to celebrate your father.

    Take care.

  3. In November it will be 17 years since I lost my father, and I can tell you this: not a day goes by that I do not think about him. That will never change. But in time the thoughts will only bring smiles, not tears. It does get better.
    My dad gave up a promising and potentially lucrative career in exchange for one that would give him less money but much more time to spend with his family. He was our biggest, most vocal cheerleader and encouraged all our dreams. He never hit us over the head with his beliefs or values, but by the example of his life, taught us how to live.
    Thank you for the moving tribute to your dad, and for allowing me to honor my own right here.
    Love you,

  4. It's me again. Saw this poem on FB today and just had to share it:

    If roses grow in heaven, Lord, then pick a bunch for me.
    Place them in my Daddy's arms and tell him they're from me.
    Tell him that I love and miss him, and when he turns to smile,
    place a kiss upon his cheek
    and hold him for a while.........


  5. that was an awesome tribute to you dear father Elena.
    you made me cry... again
    Love you

  6. Your tribute to you dad made me cry. Mine just turned 90 and I know his days are numbered. I must enjoy the ones that are left. Thanks.

  7. that is an unbelieveable tribute to a dear father. You have done your father proud and you make me so proud to call you friend. he did and is still watching you and your brothers. He was and is I am sure one of the most proud Papi.

    though you shed tears now rememeber that he will never ever leave you for as long as he is in your thoughts he is never far from you.

    much love tracy

  8. Hello Elena,

    a good father's day to all fathers who cared and still care now as our gardianangels !

    I lost my biological father when I was 18 months old, my stepfather died 9 years ago after being my dad for 20 years....

    I think back of both with warm memories and tears in my eyes now and then, .... and like now when I read your letter....

    It's allright to crawl back in your blanket, shed a tear and miss him very physically. It honors your dad that you miss him so much. The pain still remains, but will be less hard...

    greetings from belgium

  9. Elena-
    You never forget a special Dad. I lost mine when I was only 25. He had a massive coronary when I was just 16 and was not supposed to live through the night, so the fact that he did and I had 10 more years, I felt very blessed. Your letter was a tremendous tribute to your Dad and allowed us all a bit of a chance to know the special man he was. Of course we know that because of the daughter he gave to us as our friend... God Bless ya sweetie... It will get better, but even after 31 years, I still have my moments and I will always miss him, but I feel his presence as I'm sure you do your Dad as well...What would we do without our wonderful memories? Marita

  10. Big Hugggs for you.I know the dispare and feeling of loss.Love alll your new art work.:^)