A letter to Papi

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By Robin Benad

Happy Father’s Day, Papi;

It is hard to believe that you would have been 75 years old. I won’t lie, I miss you like crazy and it still surprises me that you have been gone 22 years now. I wanted to take some time today and thank you for the many lessons you taught me in the 19 years I had you in my life.

Love

After you passed away, I really didn’t want anything to do with love. Watching you struggle with brain cancer and having the forethought that it was not curable and that you only had months to live, was just too much for me. As a Doctor, I could tell that you knew just how long you had and made it your mission to see all your family and friends. I was so young and my first thought was it hurt too much to lose someone you love, than it did to take the time to love and let someone in.

Years later, I met someone; he changed my outlook on life and what it means to truly love someone again. He takes care of me, Papi, and he loves me for who I am.

Children

You have two wonderful grandchildren. My daughter looks so much like me, that I know you would be nostalgic if you were here to see her. She gives the best hugs and is definitely Daddy’s girl. You finally got your boy, that is right; my second child was a bouncing baby boy. I always knew that you wanted a boy to share your love of baseball and when you had two girls you were a little disappointed. I don’t blame you for that or  feel like I am psychologically scarred, I understand the value of namesake to you. I also know that at your funeral many, many of your patients and co-workers came up to me and my sister and told us how you would tell them about how wonderful we were and how intelligent. They said that you were shocked about it and that we wanted to go to college and have a career. Your girls would have a choice in their life that wasn’t limited to finding a Husband.

Dreams

Imagine my surprise when your brothers and sisters told me that as a child you lived for baseball. You would pick up sticks and rocks, set up a baseball diamond and play the day away. You had aspirations of being a baseball player but as a son with 8 other siblings, you felt you needed to be responsible and studied medicine. I know you loved being a Doctor but I also know it took a toll on you. It was a tough job, and your creative outlet was playing baseball. I look back now and remember how you used watch baseball on Sunday afternoons and if you had time you would watch little league games.

I remember when I told you that I got a part in the school musical and you thought I was joking. When I clarified that I really did get a part, you must have realized that this was “my baseball” and you supported me wholeheartedly. I still laugh at the recordings you made where you would fall asleep and the camera would record the auditorium’s ceiling. You were there after a double shift, no matter what.

I couldn’t give you, your namesake; but I have given you my stage name; I am always going to be “Natera,” because of you I am still actively pursuing my dream. After a long dry spell of auditioning and getting called back but not booking; my Husband plays your roll of being supportive and reminding me that getting up and getting back out there is important because it really does make me happy.

I miss you so much and won’t lie; my heart hurts when I think of all you have missed:

My wedding, I didn’t get to walk down the aisle with you. I didn’t get my Father/Daughter dance.

My husband and your grandchildren, you would have really enjoyed them. Sometimes I watch my son and he will grimace or give a look that screams of you; a little gift God has given me.

My life as a woman, I am much less anxious and very much at peace with everything. I love my life and I am grateful for most everything.

Today, we will celebrate all Father’s and the kids know you; without every really knowing you. You are Abuelo, and you are always loved.

Sincerely,

Isabel

isabel@actingoutmama.com
www.actingoutmama.com

 

 

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