Thursday, April 1, 2010


My aunt slapped my hand as i reached for a slice of the Hawaiian pizza on the coffee table in the living room. Es para tu papa, she said. I sat there, holding my hand, anxious and eying the slice, not really thinking where exactly my father had been for the past 3 days.

We had just arrived from Mexico, my mother, sister and I, brought through the border with a tourist visa and by car through San Diego, and a brief stop in LA. Now we were sleeping on the floor of my Aunt's two bedroom San Jose apartment which she shared with four other people.

My father had stayed behind.

A few hours after the hand incident, pizza now cold, there was a knock on the door and my uncle showed up with my father. Torn pants, muddied shoes, unshaven and exhausted my father walked over and hugged us. I'll always remember the excitement, relief, the joy that filled the small apartment that night.

It would not be until years later that i would learn what he had been through in those three days.

My father and I have always shared a strong bond, one of trust and companionship. He's always been a good father, attentive to his family, always putting us before anything. Although he is older than me by 35 years ( he is 63) he has maintained a youthful spirit, joking and being there when I've needed him most. He's always been more of a friend than an authority.

The kind of man I aspire to be.

Now that so much time has passed, i often times remember that night when he was reunited with us. How tired he must have been, the fear, anxiety and the terrible weight he must have felt of being parted from his family.

I've had many moments of doubt, of anger, of frustration. Much more so in these recent weeks, where i tend to disappear from the world. Times where i just want to get up and walk away. times where i just want to say fuck it and leave.

Then i think of what my family has gone through. How many sacrifices have been made, and are yet to be made. I think of the joy my father had when he was reunited with us, and how tired and sad his eyes look now.

That's when I realize I can't walk away.


  1. I haven't met you in person but I can tell that you learned invaluable lessons from your father, Gabe.

    We would not be anything without our families. They make us and keep us going.

  2. Gabe, You really inspire everyone in our situation!!! I hope your situation gets rectified soon. Seriously gabe find a nice lady and get married, quickly :)