Fidel Caused Me Pain…

I believe it was fifth grade when one of my daughter’s class projects was to interview one parent about his or her ancestors. She asked about my side but being that I knew little about my father’s history, I referred her to my father. One Saturday, she interviewed him and he gladly told her of his life in Mexico. 

He went into his cluttered room and pulled out an old but pristine postcard. He proudly said in Spanish, “That was me when I was young. Turn it around and see who took it.” We turned it over and in red lettering it was stamped, “Fotographa de Fidel C. y E. Guevara.” Evidentially, the two revolutionaries were in exile in Mexico City in the early 1950’s. To make money, they sold photo postcards…

We were both amazed and asked, “Papa, if we take good care of it, can I put it on her collage along with a recent picture of you?”  Reluctantly, he agreed. A few weeks later she got an A for her efforts. I returned the art board back to his house and guess what was missing…? The postcard. He accused me and her of not caring and from then on he hated her and he despised my very existence.

On December 10th of 2008, he breathed his last breath. I remember his last words to me on his deathbed were, “You let me down as a son. I wanted a better son but I got you.” A few days later as I was loading his household junk into the first of many debris boxes, I found Tashi’s old poster board project. I shook my head and thought about the pain that one postcard had caused. It was right then that the postcard slipped out from behind a piece of construction paper onto the floor… I immediately called Tashi and told her, “Guess what I found?” We both laughed hysterically…

Some might say, “Juan, get that postcard appraised. It might be worth something.” It was completely worthless. Why you ask? The water soluble red ink had desolved with the moisture in his house over the years… As I ripped that postcards into a hundred pieces I laughed so hard… “All that pain and suffering and for what?” Maybe that’s why I sold that house years later, I was still trapped in the memories of the unhappiness in that house. This too will pass

6 thoughts on “Fidel Caused Me Pain…

  1. What tale of abuse, Juan, and surprise. What we base our values on sure can become a mess for us as well as others. I can see how many people react irrationally to situations, based on their/my expectations. If there was more mindfulness in the world, perhaps this would not be the case. I must admit that dollar signs crossed my mind re the postcard, but what you did with it was meaningful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A powerful story, Juan. How sad that we sometimes value our possessions more than people, especially our children and grandchildren. And how tragic for people to hold a grudge for a lifetime and to have it color the words of their final goodbye. I’m glad you found the photo and were able to heal wounds from the past with laughter. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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