I can remember a time when someone on my school bus was going off on Hispanic dads.
Can’t remember the specifics, I can only remember being so shocked at this narrative.
That they’re unavailable or absent all together.
I told this person they were wrong, so wrong.
Being a shy pre teen, I didn’t think to back this up even though this person fought me on it.
I think I said, “not my dad!” And that was that.
On the eve of my dad’s birthday, this memory comes back with a story I wish I had articulated but maybe didn’t have the context yet.
A few years ago, my dad was diagnosed with lyposarcoma. A large non metatastic tumer in his abdomen which had to come out.
In his stomach.
I remembered a time when we vacationed in Florida.
I was sick the whole time. My nose would not stop bleeding.
One day, when I was better but not 100%, we were outside and a sudden thunderstorm broke out.
I feared wind like it was certain death.
I instinctively buried my face in my father’s stomach and he wrapped his arms around me.
Despite the booming thunder and lightning, I felt safer than I’d ever felt before.
Because my dad had me secured.
I thought about this when he was being wheeled away on a stretcher into surgery which would take hours.
I wanted to bury my face in his stomach.
I did metaphorically. And I felt safe.
This is a testament to him and what he’s given me.
A sense of personal and emotional safety.
That’s everything anyone can ask of a dad.
And I love him more than these words can say.