Memorial to the (self-proclaimed) Mad Dog, My Dear Dad

9 May

My dad passed away a couple of days after I posted my last blog. I couldn’t go back to Kentucky just yet, for various reasons that I promise to detail in my next post. So I wrote my own little memorial and put it on video. (With no crying! And just so you know, the internet being what it is here, it took about 2 hours of our whole little family at the internet to get this short video uploaded. But it’s the least I could do for my papa.) You can see the video here:

Meanwhile, I have to tell you one more story, because I’ve been lamenting not having space to include more details about his trip to visit me in Chile. The trip was no small feat, and was revolutionary for us both in many ways. So one fine day, my dad accompanied me to my volunteer job- an all-day affair involving multiple kinds of public transport to get to the far outskirts of town. He charmed the sweet but tough-as-nails old ladies who were the unpaid bosses of the organization I was volunteering for. Through my (unpracticed then, rather dubious) interpretation between languages the ladies and my dad discussed inequality and institutionalized discrimination, comparing things in the US to their neighborhood, El Monte. But the best part was taking him to the elementary school for the morning part of my job, where I helped with a couple of English classes. The kids were so impressed that my dad had come all the way from the US to help them with their English! My dad taught them how to pronounce new words in English, and they taught him the same in Spanish. There was lots of cheering and hoorahs after each word, the kids and my dad motivating each other, even when nobody got it exactly right. My dad was in the spotlight, totally unrehearsed, smiling, arms wide in his “look at me; I did it” stance after each word, both humble and proud, cheering the kids on with all his open heart. He was so joyously him in that moment, his love and light shining through.
I am so like my dad in some ways- rebellious, stubborn, a bit outlandish, unabashedly decided about who I am. I dirty up a whole sink-full of dishes to make a really good meal (though I don’t have his knack for making it all come out at the same time). I can’t resist talking to everyone and their mom everywhere I go. And I hope to prove myself as fiercely dedicated to my kids as he did. I hope they’ll love me as fiercely for all my character, my quirks and lovely imperfections, just like I love him. Your memorial continues, papá.

2 Responses to “Memorial to the (self-proclaimed) Mad Dog, My Dear Dad”

  1. holly July 5, 2015 at 9:59 pm #

    Shitchrist, girl. That’s some of your most beautiful spoken word, ever. What a beautiful display of your parenting and his, all at the same time.

    • exiletomexico July 6, 2015 at 9:04 am #

      Thanks, miss! Hopefully he enjoyed it, too. I sure do miss him. xoxox

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