Category Archives: parenting

Father’s Day Tribute to the Men in my Family

 

Picture2Dad: A son’s first hero. A daughter’s first love.

The fathers in my family are called Dad, Daddy, and Papi. Newsflash: None are perfect! But each one represents love, courage, provision, and strength. Their eyes glow with purpose. Their smiles melt hearts. Their chest swells with pride. Their callous hands protect. They stand tall with dignity. And their embraces offer comfort and assurance. Yes, they are the pillars in our households.

It’s said that every man is trying to either live up to his father’s expectations or make up for his father’s mistakes. I don’t know if that’s true. I only know that each man represented in my family strive to being the very best possible. Each hold a mantle and carry a torch for the next generation. Each dad represented in my family lays a solid foundation, even those who have crossed over to the other side. I can’t help but to think about my own grandfathers. They were strong, respected dedicated men with a constant presence. They left behind a legacy. When the tough got going, they didn’t cave under pressure. They persevere with Puerto Rican pride in every fiber of their being.

To the men in my family who are dads (and have yet to be): I love and admire each and every one of you. And to my dear husband who married me with four children, I share this quote: “It takes a strong man to accept somebody else’s children and step up to the plate another man left on the table.” I salute you.

I salute you all.

Remember: Any man can be a father. But it takes a special person to be a dad.

© M.A. Pérez, 2018, All Rights Reserved

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She’s My Mama

Mama lives alone. She enjoys a contented life. She loves playing Bingo and the group outings on the Metro-Lift with Charles, her traveling companion. They attend church together. Mama has a provider who cleans, cooks, and provides assistance. I have come to the place where I am able to let go and let her live her own life. While Mama has learned not to rely upon me as heavily as before, she knows I will be there whenever needed.

This past week, we celebrated Mama’s 79th birthday at an Italian restaurant. She doesn’t like her pictures taken and has always been shy in front of the camera. Rest assure, she enjoyed her day, having no problem in dining out and in opening gifts.

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Initially, when I shared with Mama that I was writing my memoirs she laughed and squealed, “Mary, what kind of book is that going to be?”

I chuckled, answering, “Stranger than fiction, of course.”

Later, with a more serious tone, Mama asked, “So, you’re going to blame me for everything that has happened?”

While our relationship and communication continue to require work, I assured her that I don’t blame her for all the bad.

Let me be clear: I do not hate Mama. I NEVER hated Mama. I hated her behavior. I resented everything and everyone that took her away from me as a child! Though my mind may still remember the neglect, I realize that nothing I did or did not do could have changed her then. Or now. I can only change myself and aim for better.

Several years ago, someone recommended Irregular People, by Joyce Landorf that helped me tremendously. Nearly everyone has a difficult or “irregular” person in his or her life. They can be emotionally tone deaf and not really hear you. They may be emotionally blind and not see you. They may even have a speech impediment and not say the right thing to you. You cannot please that person; you cannot change them no matter how much you wish to.

I can be at peace and know that the way Mama—or anyone else—chooses to live their lives, isn’t a reflection of me.

Yes, writing is therapeutic, but if I can show just one person that they are not alone in their struggles, then I have done something good. Through it all, one can have purpose and meaning and overcome.

In the dynamic of things, I felt Mama did her best.

As we all try to do.

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© M.A. Perez 2013, All Rights Reserved

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