Posts Tagged ‘Dad’

I enjoy beer. I don’t get to drink it much anymore because it can interfere with my medicines and because I don’t have expendable cash.

The other day, when it got cold enough and wet enough to wear a coat, I found a twenty dollar bill in my coat pocket. Score!

While there are a lot of things I could have spent it on,  I was on  my way to the grocery  store and while there, I spotted my bargain beer. It’s not super popular, although after I first discovered it about a year ago I found out that it is the go to beer of college students because of the price and the not so bad taste. Rolling Rock is priced at $8.99 for an eighteen pack. So I spent half of my twenty on Rolling Rock. It will last a long time. My daughter bought me an eighteen pack last year and it lasted me four months.

Tonight, I decided to have a can and as I sipped on it,  it occurred to me that my dad must have felt the same about his go to beer as I feel about Rolling Rock. His was PBR. Pabst Blue Ribbon. It’s cheap and is not bad. My dad had seven kids and was the only bread winner. So he needed cheap beer. It was usually PBR but at times, when he needed even cheaper beer, it was Brown Derby.

So tonight, as I enjoy one can of Rolling Rock,  I’ll toast my dad and I will be thankful that Rolling Rock isn’t too bad.

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My regular readers will remember reading about the not so sweet side of my dad. That is all true but I am choosing to remember the sweet side of my dad, especially now that he’s gone (he died in May of 2015).

One of these memories is of when my mom went to the hospital “to bring home” my little sister. My brothers were at school. My sister and I didn’t go to school yet. My dad stayed home to take care of us. I remember sitting in the corner of the kitchen, out of the way, next to my sister, while my dad mopped the floor. He was cleaning as much as he could while my mom was gone so she would not have to do it when she got home. So he scrubbed the floor then waxed the floor while we sat and watched. He talked to us the whole time. When he was finished and the floor was dry, he moved the chairs back to the table and we sat as he baked cookies. We weren’t used to him baking or cooking but when he did do it, we knew there were be special sweetness to enjoy. He didn’t use a recipe. He just did what he remembered. He made little bite-sized cookies for us. They had anise in them and were covered with powdery sugar. They were delicious. My mouth waters for them when I remember.

A few years later, I remember him making candy for us. He hammered a nail on the kitchen wall and when the candy was “cooked” and cool enough to touch, he hung the mixture on the nail and began to pull it into a long, thing rope, pulling over and over until it was just right. Then while it was still pliable, he cut it into little pieces, just big enough for our little mouths. It was delicious pulled taffy. He didn’t do that often but when he did, it was such a treat, not just the edible kind but the kind that made us look up to him with smile and sweet love and anticipation.

That’s the part I like to remember when I think of him. That, and dancing with my feet on top of his; “reading” the newspaper with him before I could read; having him push me on the swings; listening to the stories he told us about his childhood.

I hope you all have wonderful, sweet memories of your dad to look back on.

Happy Father’s Day.


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This is a series about abuse. I have debated with myself about whether I will write any personal stories or details in this series. I’ve decided that I have to do so to keep the writing authentic. So, here goes.

I remember having a lot of fun with my dad when I was growing up. I remember him pushing me on the swings. I remember him dancing with me in his arms when I was so young I could barely walk.

I remember the fights. He would drink too much and the fights would begin. He would start yelling at everyone and cursing at my mother. And he would keep drinking even after he had had too much. I remember wanting to go help my mom because I could hear him hit her and I could hear her cry during the night when we were all supposed to be sleeping. In the morning I would wait for him to go to work and then run into my mom’s bedroom. I remember how her face looked. Her beautiful green eyes sad and filled with tears, swollen and purple. I remember that although her eyes cried, she would smile at us and say she was okay. No, it didn’t hurt. She was okay. But I knew different. I could tell when she tried to move that she was in pain. I could tell that there were probably bruises that we couldn’t see because she could hardly move without wincing in pain.

He hit our mom. He made her cry. He caused bruises. Bruises on my mom. Bruises left on our minds that colored our world.

Then, he would hit us. My mom would try to get between him and us and she would be hit and thrown out of the way so he could keep hitting us. We were little. My oldest brother was only about eight or nine at the time, yet he got punched as if he were a grown man.

There were many drunk days and nights. I remember that every year on my birthday (my birthday is on Christmas) he would get drunk and ruin the day. Sometimes it would be by passing out and other times by ruining our dinner like the time he was angry because it was taking too long to get everything on the dinner table so he pulled the tablecloth and with it all the food. And I remember one year when he was so drunk one Christmas that he went into the bathroom to wash up for lunch and ended up passing out and falling into the bathtub which was still filled with water from my youngest sister’s bath. My brothers had to help my mom get him out of the tub and into bed. That turned out to be a good Christmas because he slept for the rest of the day and the rest of us had a good day. Still, I wished that it hadn’t happened because I always believed that he would be able to share one Christmas, one birthday, without getting drunk or abusive.

I remember. I’m sixty years old now and I still remember. I have never been able to forget it. I remember.

My 2016 A to Z Challenge Posts



Child Abuse



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My dad died last May. Today would have been his 86th birthday. The past few weeks have been difficult leading up to this occasion. I’ve been dreading it. I’ve been sad. I’ve been pensive.

Today, I am choosing to smile when I think about my dad. I’m thinking about how our Christmas tree always stayed up until January 6 each year, both for my dad’s birthday as well as for dia de los reyes (Kings Day). I’m thinking about how he used to say that we were both born on different Christmases. One of us on December 25 and the other on January 6, bookending the season with what he used to call Mexican Christmas.

Today I am smiling thinking about how I learned to dance by standing on his feet as he waltzed around the room. I’m smiling because we shared so much. I’m smiling because deep, deep down, he was a good man, a good father, a good person. He just didn’t know how to deal with the challenges life through at him.

In the end, he had daughters that mourned him; grandchildren and great grandchildren that mourned him; and so many others. And after 85 years of life, mistakes, and challenges, to be mourned and missed by so many, is truly something to smile about.

Happy birthday, Dad!


Share a smile with the world…visit Trent’s blog for more info!

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I knew since last Wednesday that his death was imminent. The word came today.

Dad, San Jose maybe 1955

Dad, San Jose maybe 1955

Dad around age 50, 1980ish.

Dad around age 50, 1980ish.

Dad and Mom with me at Junior Miss Pageant, 1973.

Dad and Mom with me at Junior Miss Pageant, 1973.

This is me with my Dad the last time I saw him, on Father's Day of 2012.

This is me with my Dad the last time I saw him, on Father’s Day of 2012.

You can read some of the posts about my dad here:
Tall Tales
What I Want To Remember About My Dad

And a post I wrote the last time we thought he was about to leave us in 2013

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