Growing up, I didn’t always understand my dad. He was stern and strict and strong-willed and much too serious about everything. He didn’t always make smart decisions, and I wasn’t always a fan of his actions.
But he was my dad, my one father, and as I went from girl to woman, the resent turned into sympathy and ultimately into understanding for the life he led, for the battles he fought and how hard he worked to provide new opportunities for my brother and me, even at the cost of his own success.
When my mom unexpectedly passed away two years go, I finally saw my dad’s vulnerability, his weakness and his undying love for the woman who sacrificed everything for her family, and for the past two years, I have finally understood him. As his caretaker, I got to know him in a different light, and my heart opened up a space for him that had for too long been choked up.
I finally get him, and I now know he’s where he wanted to be, in the arms of my mom where he was always safer and stronger.
Today, I’m imagining Heaven as an all-you-can-eat parrillada where he gets to play pitmaster and use unlimited vats of chimichurri; where red wine is flowing and tarantella is on loop; where Mami is dancing, timidly; and dad is smiling and boasting about having taught her how.
Dance on, my loves. Cheers!