Saturday, August 2, 2008


(a representative image of my father and mother dancing tango in our kitchen when i was a little girl . . . it's one of the most endearing images of my dad etched in my mind.)

juan antonio.

that is my dad's name.

he was born july 23, 1934 and died october 4, 1988.

he was 54.

he was just 54.

we buried his body three days later on october 7th.

. . .

actually, "died" isn't the right word.

my dad was killed by a drunk driver.

. . .

i miss him.

i miss him as though he died yesterday.

in october of 1988, i was 10 going on 11.

now i'm 30 going on 31 and the memories of my father and the pain of his death remain vivid and raw.

. . .

this year he would have been 74.

. . .

there hasn't been a moment in the last 20 years during which i haven't thought about him or wished he were physically present.

i want so much to write down all of the wonderful memories and stories i have about him, but it just hurts . . . i mean really, really hurts . . . to talk about him.

i admire frank for being able to speak so candidly and lucidly about marcie. i fear i may never be able to do that about my dad . . .

for the time being, he remains in my mind and heart.

. . .

i love you, dad.

i miss you so much, papi.

happy be-lated birthday.

con muchisimo amor,

tu hija


Cassy said...

wow... lo siento... nuestros papis son tan, pero tan especiales... paciencia... se encontraran de nuevo en un lugar muy lindo...

The Wandering Gentile said...

Okay, my socks have been blown off. Sentimental without becoming cloying; personal without being self-absorbed. I have expected this kind of talent...awesome, awesome, awesome.

When I ran across this post, I had just been listening to Shakira sing "Objection." As I contemplated my response, Harry Chapin came on singing "The Cat's In The Cradle." Bad, baaaad mojo.

The dates got to me. They are remarkably close to the birth and death of my own father. (8/21/33-3/28/90.)

The circumstances are different, but the bottom line is that I wish I could have my dad back, as he was, lucid and writing his newspaper column in Upstate New York.

You should never feel rushed to touch the memories of your father. At some point, probably with your brothers and mother, what might be constructive would be a collaboration to chronicle as many memories of him as possible.

Giving his story life, I suspect, may offer you relief, and provide your sobrinos with an understanding of the man whose last name they share.

The unfinished life requires the living as a bridge to the future.

Francis (via google) Pruett said...

Hi, Laura. The only way to get past the pain is to wade through it. It sucks and you never really get past it, but hey, wade in and let some out. I am no expert at this, I just don't want her and all the special things about her to disappear in my memory, or with me should something bad happen.

My motivation is memorializing her as completely as I can, but sometimes it can be way too much pain for me.

And, erm, my district blocks facebook. They suck. So I have not been partying since 5. I went to my Yelp event and then came home and wrote, then crashed out.

BTW, replied on my blog to your comment, and I appreciate the link to me, mija.