It’s Fathers Day

It’s just another day created by the Hallmark folks, but I find myself thinking about my father. His spirit is captured in this scene from Esperanza Farm I wrote years ago:

It’s Cuba, around 1963. A father’s small business has just been nationalized by the government. He’s going home to tell his wife. His son is with him.

Dad handed me a brown paper bag with two ham sandwiches inside. He had bought them from someone that had stopped by earlier in the day. We walked outside where the rain had been waiting for us. The mist rising was a splashing welcome to our faces.

I watched as my father locked the door, pushing it twice to make sure it was locked, the way he always did. Dad then turned the sign on the string to the side that read ‘closed’. He looked for a few seconds at the door and then he turned to me. He took the bag with the sandwiches from me and said: “I leave with more than I came.” He smiled at me, but I could tell that he was ‘this’ close to crying.

I waited for him to take the first step into the rain-covered street. The intensity of the rainstorm was increasing. Vapor was rising from the broken asphalt. The rain drops sounded like little whips against the concrete sidewalk.

Asking me to follow him, my father ran into the downpour, without looking back. I smiled and followed him. But before he got to the other side of the street, Dad slipped and fell.

I saw him go head first into the wet pavement.

I stopped, not knowing what to do, unsure of how to help him.

He had slid hard, falling on his elbows and knees, but, like a good outfielder making a diving catch, Dad had held on to the sandwiches.

He got up just as quickly and turning to look at me, he smiled with his whole face. He then started running again towards home, laughing as he ran, looking back often to see if I was keeping pace.

His laughter was piercing the gray clouds.

May you spend the day with your Dad, laughing under the rain. If he’s gone, may his memories brighten your day.

Thanks, Pipo.

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