Recordando mi papa, dos anos despues y todos los dias

Hoy era el hombre mayor tan tierno empujando un andador junto con su mascota mientras estaba corríendo en Central Park. No era el perro (mi padre no era el mayor fanático de los perros), sino el uso del andador, y la forma en que el hombre tenía la cabeza inclinada ligeramente mientras caminaba lentamente.

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En otros días, es música de mi lista de canciones favoritas, o un plato que mi madre cocinó, ya que mi padre siempre adoró como cocinaba. Pienso en mi papá todos los días, y especialmente hoy, dos años desde que murió.

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Pienso en él con tanto cariño cuando estoy manejando mi bicicleta en el parque para hacer ejercicio, o mientras viajo en Citibike para recorrer la ciudad y tal vez le grito a un automovilista que se acerca, como mi papá se imaginaba a sí mismo un conductor y ciclista muy defensivo.

Él inculcó en mis hermanos y yo un sentido del humor (ver lo gracioso en todo), un amor por los parques y la recreación, y la música, por supuesto. Una cosa que mi madre siempre dice sobre sus últimos años es que a pesar de pasar por momentos muy difíciles con complicaciones debido a la enfermedad de Parkinson, nunca se quejó. Él nunca preguntó: “¿Por qué yo?”

¿Puedo decir con certeza que él nunca se preguntó sobre eso? Por supuesto no. De hecho, a veces, cuando visitaba a mis padres en casa, entré en su habitación y lo encontré pensativo mirando por la ventana, o tratando de garabatear su firma en un cuaderno (los efectos de Parkinson su capacidad para escribir / sostener un lápiz ).

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Dad in the red shirt and a look that says he just told a joke.

Pero él nunca se quejó. Él prefiriá hablar con nosotros, y preguntarnos cuándo era su próxima cita con el médico, ya que quedarse en casa no era divertido para él, ¡porque tampoco es realmente divertido para mí! Las mariposas sociales somos nosotros.

Debido a que estaba confinado en su casa, hospitales y hogares de ancianos en sus últimos años, y perdió su capacidad de hablar, escuchar sobre la familia fue una de sus mayores alegrías y estoy seguro que esta mirándolos con cariño. Estaba tan alegre cada vez que mi sobrino, RJ, o mi sobrina, Bella, estaban cerca. Incluso en la UCI en su último mes, ver a Bella lo hizo sonreír.

Descansa en paz, papá. ¡Te amamos y te extrañamos!

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Remembering dad, two years later & every day

Today it was the most adorable older man pushing a walker along with his yellow labrador while I was running in Central Park. It wasn’t the dog (my dad wasn’t the biggest fans of the four-legged), but the use of the walker, and the way the man had his head cocked down slightly as he walked slowly.

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This adorable man reminded me of my dad today.

On other days, it’s music that shuffles onto my Spotify from my favorite song list, or a dish my mom will make, as my dad always worshipped her cooking. I think about my dad every single day, and especially today, two years since he died.

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My dad on the exercise bike when he still lived at home.

I think of him so fondly when I’m riding my bike in the park for exercise, or while on a Citibike to get around the city and I maybe tell a motorist who gets to close to “Watch it!” as my dad fancied himself a very defensive driver and cyclist.

He instilled in my brothers and I a sense of humor (see the funny in everything), a love of parks and recreation, and music, of course. One thing my mother always says about his last few years on this earth is that despite experiencing some very tough times with complications due to Parkinson’s disease, he never complained. He never asked, “Why me?”

Can I say to certainty that he never wondered about that? Of course not. In fact, sometimes when I’d visit my parents at home, I’d walk into his room and find him pensively looking out the window, or trying to scribble his signature in a notebook (Parkinson’s effects your ability to write/hold a pen).

But he never let on to us, instead choosing to talk to us, and ask when his next doctor’s appointment was as staying home was NOT fun for him, as it is not really fun for me, either! Social butterflies are us. 🙂

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With family from Colombia (and me, my brother Rich, and nephew, RJ) and my mom in NYC during Christmas time

Because he was homebound, and later in and out of hospitals and nursing homes, in his later years, and lost his ability to speak, hearing about family was one of his biggest joys and I’m sure he’s looking down on them lovingly to this day. He smiled SO WIDELY whenever my nephew, RJ, or my niece, Bella, were around. Even in ICU in his last month, seeing Bella made him smile.

We’re thinking of him lovingly today, and every single day. Here is a piece I wrote about him in 2015, and an obituary post I wrote a couple of days after he died in 2016.

RIP, dad! We love and miss you!