Thursday - Jun 20, 2019

The day my heart opens once a year is for you, dad, on Father’s Day


This is one of the most sublime days for me: Father’s Day, the day of the man who guided me from a distance, the journalist José Santos Ramírez Calero.

It is the day that many celebrate the one who one day was, if he is not among us anymore: our father. How nice it is to remember that human being that by his nature does not complain; that silently keeps his pain and tears, and goes, as the song of Piero says, already going slow in his life, knowing that he is going to die.

He’s a good guy, my old man who walks alone and waiting have long sadness from so much coming
I look at it from afar but we are so different is that he grew up with the century with trolley cars and red wine
My old dear old man now you are walking slowly like forgiving the wind
I am your blood, my old man I am your silence and your time
He has good eyes and a heavy figure the age came on him without carnival or comparsa
I have the new years and the man the old years pain he carries inside and has a history without time
My old dear old man now you are walking slowly
like forgiving the wind
I am your blood, my old man
I am your silence and your time.
– Piero

My father fit in that profile of this Piero’s song. It’s like a spoken picture of him.

And that’s why when I listen to this song that I tuned the day of his funeral, I cannot help crying again, crying as if his death had been yesterday, but it was on June 12, 2004 when he left.

Yes father. Things were not the same from that day that I cried uncontrollably back in the funeral home in front of friends and family, sitting in front of where your body laid dead in that cold coffin … My life came to me in my thoughts, remembering what I did not do for you. What I could not do for lack of time, even when you were in an endless agony, when cancer took you drop by drop, day by day your life; that consumed the flesh of your body … and you were already only in the bones. And they forced you to eat by the stomach. I never understood, although I suspected it, that keeping you alive produced profit to some who took care of you. What a shame!

What a horrible death you suffered, Dad, and those who took care of you – paid by the county, they did not want you to leave, they were paid to keep you alive; tied your soul by a thread that stopped you from going to the eternal abode, where God awaits us all , at the end of the race.

A little past 11 p.m. of that June 12 I received the news that you had left; my heart cried intensely, but I was able to change my clothes and go where your lifeless body laid, and see you how the supposed caregivers always kept you: naked on a bed. An act that I always considered humiliating to your dignity; a lack of respect for your humanity. Thank you! Oh God, I said, for having stopped the pain you endured while being forced not to die, when it was really time for you to leave.

And those who ‘took care’ of you for a salary, as if it were a business, did not even come to the funeral house, or to the cemetery. It seemed that they were not your children, and the little that you left behind of your possession they took it in a rush. They did not use what little you had to pay for your candle and burial, but I was the one who responded with dignity by paying it on my own. And now, like vultures, they are fighting for the little land you left. What a shame.

This Father’s Day, oh dad, it really burns me from the bottom inside, because even as the years go by, I always feel like it was yesterday. And I know, without a doubt, that from the beyond, you’re watching me.

Your legacy was to have inspired me to take the same sublime career of journalism that you professed throughout your life, from Nicaragua to the U.S. You could show in your eyes how proud you were of me when I printed my first edition of El Reportero newspaper on that March of 1991, and later when you attended my graduation at San Francisco State University. And I think that this is what makes me continue to keep printing, even though I no longer have the same strength, because from there you inspire me not to hang the gloves.

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