Coco's Blog

Saturday, 18 June 2011 15:20

My Father

Written by Coco
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My father is amazing – I feel very blessed to have him in my life. The earliest memories I have of him are hazy – that’s because they happened at 5 in the morning when he was getting to leave for work.

We lived on the southwest side of Chicago in a community called Little Village.   My father worked in the Gary, IN steel mills  my whole life so he was up at 4:30 a.m. every weekday and on many weekends in order to be work by 6:30 a.m.   I would sometimes hear him getting ready for work wile my mom made his lunch. I would get up and sit at the kitchen table in our small apartment, half awake and eat cereal, just to be a part of the experience, to be with my dad.  The radio would be on the local Spanish news station while my parents went about getting ready.  Then, at 5 a.m. sharp my father would grab his lunch cooler with a blue top, his hat and off he went to work, giving my mom a quick kiss and not forgetting to give me one too, I would head then right back to bed.

I remember those mornings for a few reasons….They were often cold ones (we lived in Chicago afterall!), but my father never complained about getting up so early, although I am sure doing so was sometimes hard.  He did it for his family.  Growing up, he missed a lot of the everyday stuff the kids did – baseball games for my brother and soccer games for my sisters (I was not the athletic one!), and driving us all around the city to get to activities (my mom is a human GPS for the Chicago area!).  He worked, that’s what he did….my parents didn’t have a lot of money, but there was always enough for the kids to get what they needed and do what they really wanted – because he worked hard.  I am grateful for this.

My father finally retired after 25+ years at the steel mill in December 2008 – it was probably one of the happiest days of his life.  We’ve been out to Chicago to see my parents a few times since his retirement and for the first time I am beginning to see a different side of him, the very calm and relaxed side that can just take it easy…no work, just family and friends.  The days are his - we even got him a fancy cable package to go with his new TV so he never misses a baseball or futbol game!   He helps my mother do some gardening, he travels from Chicago to FL to see my brother play in baseball games, he enjoys (and spoils) his grandkids and he can finally sleep in past 4:30 a.m.  I am happy that he is able to do these things.   I was recently told that kids will grow up to do what they saw their parents do, not what they told their kids they should do.  That's pressure for me because I have seen my dad be and do many wonderful things.....

He has told me that he wishes he could have been around more for us kids, to do things with us.  Really, Dad, it was your example – not always your time - that has been such a powerful example of love to me.  I am so grateful that you are my father and I feel blessed to have you with us.  We love you!  Happy Father's Day!

Last modified on Sunday, 19 June 2011 18:23


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