When Death Happens Close To Home
Life’s challenges force us to harden up or soften up. Since my last post so much has happened and I needed to take a step back. I kept telling myself to come on here and talk about it, but I didn’t. I think I needed the time to figure it all out, but I’m ready now.
A little over two months ago, I received a phone call that I wasn’t expecting. That my father has passed, he was seventy-four years old.
Not many people ever heard me talk about him, he wasn’t really in my life growing up. The very few times I do remember him being in my childhood he had a bottle in his pocket and a cigar in his mouth.
My father Amado Lopez – Cuban refugee arrived in Miami in 1983, later arriving in NY where he met my mother. Shortly after, the two were married and she became pregnant with my brother in 1985. I came later in October of 1986. My mother having a one-year-old and a three-month-old baby decided to part ways with my father because of his alcohol problem.
I wish I had my father in my life to show me what was right or wrong in my early adulthood. How a man is supposed to treat you, respect and love you. I appreciate having my mother there and showing me a woman’s perspective. But a man’s perspective, a father’s especially can go even further than you imagine. Being raised by a single mother, I am a firm believer that having two parents in a child’s life can be a game changer for that child.
I grew up with a mentality that men aren’t shit, I mean that’s what my mother taught me. The famous “men are borrowed” line. When it came to dating, I learned as I went. And I didn’t want to believe my mother, I wanted her to be wrong about men. Majority of the time she was right, I went through heartbreaks and break-ups. From all those failed relationships, I started to put up a wall and believing exactly what my mother told me.
A city like NYC, with millions of people and a lot of dogs roaming the streets what would you expect right?
Ok, ok this isn’t a bashing men blog. But this was my life in my early twenties. Just being honest.
But, then came along one of those dogs. A devildog, it took him a while but he was able to show me another side of men. And now this devildog, he’s my husband.
I matured, grew up and years past that I haven’t seen or heard from my father. Out of all six siblings, I being the youngest and one of my brothers were the only ones interested to find him. I had a dream that he died, this being at least 5 years ago from today. And with some investigative work, some police officers from Miami Dade I was able to find him.
After finding my father, my husband and I took a trip to Miami to reunite with him. I had the tough conversation that any girl needed to have after not seeing her father for years. After this visit, I started to visit more and try to build a relationship with him.
After years of alcohol and cigar habits, it caught up to him and brought on a ton of health conditions. Unfortunately, I was only able to build a short relationship with him until it was his time. I received that call on February 16th, 2018. And needed to make those arrangements that any child would dread to do. From the day I received the call, a few days later we took the drive from NY to Florida to have the service that any parent or person should have.
A few days in Miami, we decided to continue our trip to New Orleans and then Texas. This time away from everyone and the city, gave me time to grieve to find peace and closure. Thank you husband for being there and everyone else for their condolences.
Whether the memories were small and whether he was a good or bad father; I’m happy I was able to have any memories and to have a father to know at all.
RIP Papi. I hope there is another life after this one, and one day get to see you again.