Let me apologize now for the long winded, “vent-like” post… Needed to get this all off my chest before I exploded.
Those who know me well, know that my sisters and I never really had a relationship with our father once our parents were divorced and we girls moved to Miami with our mom. It wasn’t because we didn’t want one, we were young and needed our father in our lives to an extent… he just slowly drifted himself out of the picture. He did visit us in Miami once in the first six months we were there, in an attempt to make amends with our mom before the divorce was final, but that didn’t work out. His calls became less frequent and we couldn’t understand why. He never got the fact that we didn’t care if he couldn’t send us stuff or money, we just wanted him to call and maybe come see us at least once a year.
The years kept passing and we grew angrier, but not really giving up completely. I managed to get him to come to Miami for my Quinces, which is when our baby sister met him for the first time. She was already 2 by then. I know my middle sister and I went to New York that summer (or the next) for two weeks, but we didn’t see him as much as we thought we would. We stayed with and visited family which was nice, but whatever. Still the naive hopeful kids, but there was a last straw for me…
When my baby sister was five she came into my room and sat on the floor next to me where I was doing homework. “Nana, today is papi’s birthday.” I looked at her innocent and confused little face and smiled. “You’re right, it is, did you want to call him.” I was trying to be as strong as my mother has always been for us. NEVER once did my mom say anything negative about our father, always reminding us that he was our father and loved us despite everything. Anyway, my sister looked and me and asked, “Did he call you on your birthday?” My breath caught and my heart jumped to my throat. I didn’t want to lie to her, and I didn’t want to discourage her, “You know Gorda, I can’t remember.” With her same sweet little girl voice she said, “He didn’t call me on my birthday, so I don’t want to call him.” “Ok, Gorda, we don’t have to call him.” She hugged me and went back to her room. To this day that conversation with my baby sister still breaks my heart. That was when I realized that man didn’t deserve the awesome daughters he let slip through his fingers.
Years later I was married and had a beautiful son. My husband convinced me to give my father another chance… Give him a chance to know his grandson and our son the chance to know his grandfather. I gave in and allowed it on one condition, “You messed it up with us, but I’m giving you this chance to know my son. If you screw this up we’re finished for good.” Not the nicest thing you want to have to tell your father, but I was NOT going to allow him to hurt my son like he had hurt us. We three girls were already immune to him and had moved on. Well, needless to say, he did great for a few years. He would call to check on us, he would send stuff for my son, and it was going well. When I got divorced, he was there for me and helped me a little here and there as he could. However, when I was getting remarried and asked him to help with one small thing because my mom was paying for everything else, he disappeared. I tried to contact him several times after that telling him that if he couldn’t pay anything that was fine, but not to ignore me. That was the end of that.
We had a hard (at times), but god life with our mother raising us. She did an excellent job of keeping the three of us safe. She is our mother AND father. She gets a call and gifts for both Mother’s day and Father’s day. A tradition we started and still continue today. She deserves BOTH days! We are the strong women we are today because our Cuban mother raised damn good Cuban girls. We are all married now (the youngest fresh in March and I’m on hubby number two) and my mother has four wonderful grandsons from me and my middle sister (two each). Our lives have been a roller coaster of everything life has to offer‼ Our mother has been the central rock that has kept us going and moving forward. We have worked, and hopefully succeeded, at making her proud.
Why am I going through all this? I needed an outlet and I needed to vent a little. My mother called to tell me my father passed away suddenly. Why do I care? I have no idea other than the fact that despite everything he missed out on, and the few memories I have left of him, and all that other crap… he was still my father and I am feeling… I honestly don’t know what I am feeling. I am feeling the loss more than I thought I would. I hate that my grandmother is suffering the loss of one of her children. It’s a whirlwind of emotions I am having trouble explaining, even to myself.
Angel Dario Sanchez
11/01/1945 – 11/23/2013