I 💙 You Papi!


I lost mi papi on July 12, 2016. He was only 60. I never realized how much I really don’t know about my culture and heritage. With so much content being readily available online now, I am discovering more things about my Mexican and Chicano heritage.

I am dedicated to learning more about my heritage from this day forward because I don’t want our story to be forgotten. It is our duty to pass it on to our children. I’m 34 and I guess now is a good time as any to take on this challenge. How very sad that often we open our eyes only after a tragic event in our life. Especially that of losing a parent.

One way his death has left an impact on me, is that I now have a sense of urgency to work on my goals daily. I will obsessively pursue my goals until I achieve every one of them. These are the goals that I have been procrastinating on for a decade now. (I know! Who does that right?) What a shame that I didn’t pursue my goals more fervently.

I don’t know who I am supposed to be. I know the things that interest me and the things I am good at. But I have no knowledge or direction as to how to use my gifts and talents to make it all come together. I do know that I want to contribute to my Chicano community in some form.

I want to be a positive influence to all persons of all races and nationalities. Most importantly I want to change the world 🌎. Big dream huh? Paraphrasing Steve Jobs, who said that

Those who think they can change the world are crazy enough to do it” .

Therefore, I am determined to think positive about the future. Someway and somehow, I will make a difference.

I resolve to live by mi papi’s words, to “seguir adelante“. I won’t stop until I get where I’m going. I know que haveces voy a tener que luchar. Pero mi papi showed me how to be resilient. He fought and fought. As an undocumented immigrant, he faced racial and systematic oppression and discrimination. He worked for next to nothing wages. He battled with his health and the failing of his most vital organs (heart and kidneys), resulting in 16 years of dialysis.

Oh how he idolized the sacredness of healthy organs, how he revered life. He didn’t lust after money. He was always content. He didn’t complain, even through his hardships. He is surely missed and he is everything I aspire to be. He is and always will be a leader and a hero to his familia.

Now it’s my turn to teach my children who they are. To teach them what kind of rich culture and heritage they are descendants of. To teach them about our raza, mi gente. I will LEARN who I am. I will KNOW who I am. I will pass it on to my children.

Then I will teach them and they too will learn and know who they are. I would love to hear your thoughts. How much do you know about your own culture and heritage? How important do you think it is to preserve our family histories and how does your family go about ensuring this? I would love any feedback and comments.