I was blessed to have been gifted the most amazing Dad. I wasn’t always an easy daughter- I know it’s hard to believe . He helped me channel my energy and smarts. He loved me, scolded me, guided me, cried with me and taught me how to expect my fruit cut. To keep it real, he also taught me about fear- I think he regrets my relationship with the belt. But alas, he did his best.
He taught me that real men wear pink and showed me the best sense of style- because t-shirts can be SO basic . Literally, he never wears a T-shirt outside the house.
He taught me real men cook and are good partners. He taught me that machistas are fundamentally really insecure. He taught me that even ugly hearts deserve compassion- after all they must have not been really loved. He taught me that I should be proud of where I come from, that I’m the granddaughter of a copper miner and farmer, daughter of farm and factory worker and a result of a working class community. He taught me to love and respect people.
He taught me the value of education precisely because he was never able to go passed the 2nd grade. He knew education would help change my destiny.
He also taught me to be faithful, spiritual and God loving. My favorite sight is watching him pray.
He taught me to believe in miracles. So, I do. And I work hard to see the miracles and magic everywhere, including in me.
My Papi has defined manhood and fatherhood for me- and that explains my high expectations. He’s taught me how to laugh and I think I’ve inherited his quick wit. Life gave him me and I know that’s all he’s needed to make his life complete. When Miquitzli came into the picture, his heart and love grew in ways neither of us expected. He’s been an awesome grandpa, G-pa and Abuelo. He’s given the Puka a wonderful role model and shown her true love too. I’m still making peace with the fact that she’s his favorite.
I’m grateful he taught me to love sports and embedded in me the sense of never giving up- “no te rindes.” He also taught me that I mattered and I had every right to defend myself and my body. I was in elementary school when a boy thought he would impress the other boys or it would be funny to touch my rear-end and spank me. Without thinking twice, I punched him in the face and told him to never touch my body like that. His nose bled and he went crying to the office. My 6-year-old self couldn’t believe I was going to be punished for defending myself. Our parents were called to the office. My Dad was my rep. My Dad asked me what happened. I was scared to tell him but I did. I told him everything Sydney had done. He looked at me and said- “The adults here might say you’re in trouble for defending yourself. But, know this, the adults who most matter in your life- your mom and I- are with you. And don’t you let any hijo de la chingada ever lay hands on you.” He went on to teach me how to hit back and some of you know what that’s meant.
I’ve learned his work ethic and his love for family. I also learned how to welcome friends to become family from him too.
He’s taught me to forgive and that has been an incredible gift.
I am a small reflection of who my father is and every day, I give thanks that he has loved me the way all children deserve to be loved.
Our descendants will know his love forever.
Happy Father’s Day, mi galán y mi Rey.
Alma V. Marquez
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