After living in the Poconos for five years and going through the harsh winter, I’m excited about the snow melting and nature reawakening. However, March is a puzzling month for me. My memories of this month are sweet and sour. It is Father’s Day in Spain and other European countries (as well as Bolivia and Honduras in South America). This is because March 19 is the Day of St. Joseph, the father of Jesus. It’s also the month when my father passed away, just four days after Father’s day.
My father and I never got along completely: we both had strong personalities. He couldn’t understand that his only daughter was more like him than his sons. In his mind his sons had to have the drive, and the daughter had to be the obedient one. That was the traditional pattern in Spanish families. It didn’t turn out like that and we fought and fought. I was always the rebel, even though I looked for his support and advice.
His rules were rigid. He never let my mother learn to drive because as he said “you’re going to kill somebody.”
I was so like him but he still couldn’t give me his trust or confidence. When he went through his third heart surgery I knew he wouldn’t make it and I mourned for weeks before the procedure. My brother was upset with me for unsettling my mother. “But I know he won’t make it,” I kept saying, “I just know.” And that was what happened.
Father’s day was coming and my dad was recovering from surgery. “What should I give him?” I thought, “I know he’s near the end.” I finally got a card where I could express my love for him and all the goodness; what really mattered.
I accepted that he did his best and I appreciated what he did for us. I gave him the card, my last gift, but he was too weak to read it. So I read it to him. His response was “I’m so happy. When you were little you were always a rebel and you´ve grown up to become a flower that blossomed.”
Those were his last words to me and I will cherish them all my life. I know he would be so proud of what I´ve become and where I found my place. Finally we are at peace. I miss him and feel his support and protection every day. So March means something different to everyone because it is the death of winter and the birth of spring. We all carry memories from this transitional moment in the year. For me it will always be for you, papi.
Christina´s radio show with a Latin flavor is every Sunday morning at 8:00 AM on Pocono 96.7. Tu Voz con Christina. Email: Christina@pocono967.com