One year ago today my father passed away.
My Dad was born in San Gil, Colombia in the 1930's. His parents parents were of Spanish and Italian decent. They were very proud to be descendants of men who had helped start the revolution in Colombia to gain freedom from Spain.
I have so many memories of my Dad through out my childhood that it is hard to pin point who he was. He was very smart, funny, athletic, and as a little girl I thought the world of him.
On Saturdays he would sit on his recliner and read on our 8th floor balcony. My sister and I would put rollers on his head, and he would just let us play along. We curled it, fluffed it, and stuck it out. If I ever wanted to know about any subject, all I had to do was ask and he would know something about it. He received books by mail on different subjects every month. He had encyclopedias of the earth, the body, the stars and so many others subjects. The thing about him is that he actually read these books.
He went to night school while married with children and became an attorney. He was very open minded on some things, but if he had an opinion on something he would defend it. Every Sunday we would visit his mother along with all his brothers and sisters who lived in town . Politics were a common subject, and he would get so exited and loud trying to get his point.
He purchased some land 4 hours drive down the mountain on the outskirt's of a town called Honda (the H is silent.) He started building as money was available, so he first cleared the land, then built 2 rooms with a bathrooms and a small kitchen. There was no door on the bathroom for a couple of years. He then had a hole dig up for the pool, and filled it with water for the week or so that we would be there. Our whole family would come down, and brothers, sisters with their spouses would share the rooms with mattresses on the floors. The children would sleep in tents. Girls in one and boys in the other. The adults would stay up and play poker until 2 or 3 in the morning. The next day the talk would be over who won whose money. Eventually, for different reasons he sold the farm as we called it.
He loved to travel, and when I graduated from High School, he my mother and I went on a tour of Europe with a cruise to the Greek islands and all. That was the last attempt my parents made of saving their marriage. A year or two later, he took my sister and aunt on another tour trough Europe, and this time he visited what was then the Soviet Union.
While I went to Law school close to where his office was, he would take me to lunch a couple of times a week. I would grab his arm and walk close to him. I always felt protected. For four years I got to know him as an adult. Some times while I waited for him to finish his consultations with his clients, I couldn't help but hear him give council to people. He practiced civil Law. Mainly divorces and real estate matters. I could hear him act as a marriage counselor, and ask his clients if there was no way they could reconcile and give them suggestions looking to save their marriage. Usually, I would hear the cries of the wife.
My Dad was not a perfect man. I could go on and on with his faults, but I was very lucky to get the best he had to give.
I miss you Papi.
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