Mi Jefe is from the old school. Mexican with roots of Spanish blood. Virgo. One of 7 children. And if you knew the personalities he grew up around, you would know about the bolt of cloth he was cut from. He’s a complex man… stoic, stubborn, set in his ways and guards a lot of his feelings like his life depends on it. A treasure trove of secrets with no map to X marks the spot. He’s softened up in his age and every once in a while we get glimpses of that soft, tender man that was never allowed the opportunity to be such.
Men of his generation were raised to be providers, backbones, tough and god forbid you ever show anything that could perceive you as “weak”. He has known hardship and struggle. An immigrant who came to this country, that built himself a something out of absolutely nothing, hustling multiple jobs, helped raise 4 kids and still to this day does the best he can with what he was given, even from where his now 83 year old frame stands.
When I became a parent was when I really came to understand and respect a lot of the things he (and my mother) did for us. I came to see them as humans, flawed and complicated with secrets and struggles of their own. From families riddled with expectations, anger, ignorance, toxicity and broken parts, just as much as there was love, even if shown in very bizarre ways. The Garcia Way. He, like many of our parents, built lives from what little they were given or even allowed to have.
It’s Father’s Day… and he is home right now, caring for our ailing Mother. Watching the love of his life deteriorate on the daily and still managing to do it with as much grace as he allows himself to show. Mourning the living for years. How I wish things ended a bit differently for the both of them but such is life and the cruel hands she deals out to play. We endure.
I will say this. I have learned a great deal from Him, far more than he can ever possibly know or understand. It’s from him I got my absolute warrior mechanism from… the one that defends, supports and prioritizes her child above anything and anyone else, just as much as he taught me there are ways not to be and where I can be better so those generational curses are cast off for good.
This is how I like to see him… sneaking that cigarette he knows Mom hated him doing, taking us out on camping adventures and him standing en Su Tierra, where he feels most at home.
Feliz Dia Daddy, y gracias por todo.
(note: this was written last year on a fb post… needed it here, for posterity)