The last four years were amazing! Salvador was born, my little sister got married and now my older brother is getting married. All my other siblings have also experienced their own moments of joy and happiness.
Today a lot of things changed.
Today my dad passed away.
He was happy, he was proud, and he waited for the right moment to do so.
Yes, there are a lot of emotions that are running through my mind but sad is far from that. The biggest reason is because growing up my dad showed us that laughter will always be the best medicine. Negativity can ruin a day.
I was about seven years old when I first moved to America and I had no clue what my future wold hold. All I knew was that I was moving and that I would be experiencing new things with a new life.
When we arrived, we had just a few things. Clothes and some bags. My dad had a job at a Chevron gas station working the graveyards shifts. My mom later got a job at a Taco Bell. We made friends, we made memories.
Some lasted longer than others.
In our time living in the Los Angeles area we experienced a quake, a car chase, and several other events that not only changed people around us but us as well. Comedy got us through a lot of those times.
I have my dad to thank for that.
His high spirit was the motivation and that little spark that relit a flickering candle. He was never afraid to make those around him smile. He would always have a joke, a story, a punchline ready. To this day I still question how he knew exactly what to say and when to say it when it comes to jokes. I have my moments here and I have him to thank for that.
I mentioned my dad worked graveyards. He did. My mom would work during the day. He would drive her to work and would often pick us up from school. In a way I take after him on that. The last couple of months I would get home from work, take maybe an hour nap, and then take Salvador to school and pick him up two hours later.
It’s a small sacrifice we both chose to make to see our family happy.
Over the years, we grew up, moved to Northern California and got educated a little along the way. I graduated high school, tried the college thing twice and now am working with a bunch of people who are happy to help when they can. My dad was that same way. He would always be one of the first to volunteer.
He taught me that. I’m glad he did.
I wouldn’t be where I am if I hadn’t learned that. Over the years I learned more and more from him. I learned things I never thought I would need.
He began his own business and from that I learned that visual communication was something I really enjoyed doing. I just hated having somebody looking over my back while doing it. I loved the freedom to create what I wanted but meeting the requirement was never easy. This of course can come in handy when dealing with customer support or even trying to break things down to a toddler.
I think the biggest lessons I got from my dad were the ones that he never tried to teach me but showed with his actions. He showed the type of relationship I want to have not only with Jamie but with Salvador as well. He showed me that even the smallest thing can turn somebody’s day completely around. He showed me that even a stranger is human and you treat them with respect. Compassion was his lesson to me.
A lot of lessons I’ve taken over the years from a man I would come to dislike for actions he would do. He had his moments but he is human and he wasn’t afraid of that.
I love my dad and I always will.
The biggest and greatest lesson I hope to pass on to my son is to care about those around you and you will be happy, you will be proud, and you will never be lonely.