My Father is buried some 2,000 miles away from where I sit. As a kid, he survived the Spanish Civil War and the aftermath of poverty and starvation. He was trained as shoemaker and hated every second of it to the point later in life he would rather have Mom buy a new pair of shoes than ask him to fix some simple thing.
He was able to save some money and with a suitcase mostly made of cheap wood and varnished cardboard, climbed aboard a ship and crossed the Atlantic to South America with just the promise of finding a job. He worked in construction, delivered goods as a truck driver and finally got a speck of a space/store in a public market selling canning goods and household cleaners which gave him enough to bring his bride to his new country and start building a house on a piece of property in the outskirts of the city.
He was up every day at 5 am and was off before 5:30 to go to the market. He was back by mid-afternoon and when he joined us and the 2 workers hired to help us finish the house, a house that we moved in without windows and doors but it was OUR house. He and Mom usually end up going to bed sometime around 11 pm dead bone tired just to be up 5 hours later.
He got the bug of wanting to own his own printing shop. But after buying the machinery, he did not have enough money to rent a place, much less buy one so he built a small building behind our house and set his business there. Then he went out looking for customers while still working at the public Market. He finally started to make headway, built a decent client base and took his first vacation back to his homeland some 25 years after he had left it. His kin and friends called him lucky and he just shut up and said nothing of the tribulations he went through.
He continued working till our house and shop was up to his specifications. He bought small plots of land in the neighborhood where we built other houses for rent and what was to become my house after I got married (he did make emphasis on the after the married part), also built a couple of warehouses that he promptly rented. We were finally comfortable enough to start enjoying life and he did at age 50.
He was never the caring touchy-feely type or the share-your-thoughts-sensitive person. If I did great in school, it was not a motive for celebration because that was what was expected of me. To say we had our head-on collisions and Mom had to pick up the pieces after is an accurate description of my teen to young man years. He finally melted when I got married and took to my wife as his daughter. yes, he would introduce her to everybody as such. He doted on her and her cats as lovingly as it was his own and I know we broke his heart a bit when we moved back to the US.
About 10 years ago, Dad suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. I got that late night call nobody wants to get and had to rush back home. From the airport I was taken straight to the ICU where the doctor explained to me that 75% of his brain was covered in blood and that they could not do a thing to save him, at best he only had a 5% chance of recovery and then only as a vegetable. I demanded to go see him and was warned that he was pretty much brain-dead and expect no response from him. I suited up, got to his bed, grabbed his hand and told him not to worry that I was here and I would take care of Mom. To the immense surprise of the doctors, every machine that was hooked to Dad started to beep like crazy indicating a change in heart rhythm, blood pressure and brain activity. It lasted a few seconds and then went back to “normal.” Although medically impossible, the tough bastard was waiting for me to show up and acknowledge that I was there and ready to take over.
He died the next day.
He is the only Father I had, I will accept no substitutes, proxies or fakes. And even when he was alive, I challenged him, fought him and even won some battles. I know I made him proud because I was a man of my own and took no crap just like he did.
Chris Rock can crawl like the two-bit bitch he is and bow to his “Father” in the White House. But my Dad, even dead, is 10 times the man Chris’ “Daddy” will ever hope to be.
“Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” ― Samuel Adams
Thank you Breda Fallacy, Librarian extraordinaire for the quote.