Before it reaches midnight, I figured I wanted to write about Papi, grandpa. He died on this day in 2008 and I just remembered. My whole family and close friends know that I was super attached to my him and I love him dearly. I still can't believe he's gone. I never really got closure, because my mother and father just split and I left with my mother without much money, so we weren't able to go to Peru, our home country, to attend his funeral.
I'm not sure how to give these memorial talks, if that is what I'm aiming for, but...he was a pretty special man. And I never cease to talk proudly about him. I wouldn't say he changed me in a radical way when I grew up. I was only so young. But...I don't know, he was my grandpa!! He gave me treats behind my parent's backs, laughed and played ball with me, sang hymns in Spanish on his mandolin while I sang along, let me kiddish-ly play with his face; he was my grandpa who laughed a lot with me!! I never imagined growing up with out him.
Papi couldn't speak English but it never stopped him from interacting with our neighbors and friends. Everybody around him loved him, saying such a cute old man. Aside from being a grandpa, through my mother's stories from the past, I found out he was a stout, strict but compassionate father. The best combination I could ever dream of.
Papi was very much into politics, and was positioned in the councils of cities and states. I found out he got into many arguments with the now president of Peru, Alan Garcia. Though he and many others left once the government became corrupted a looooonnng time ago, when he was still pretty young. His passion for God, justice and politics never ceased. Countless times I remember watching my parents in the kitchen listen on and on of Papi's rambles and his bewilderment of what was going on in the world at the time. I used to giggle, thinking 'Papi was a hard shell who only had a soft spot for me'. Don't get me wrong, I bet he loved my cousins and sister, but I like to think that we had a special abuelo-granddaughter relationship. My other grandpa was unknown and probably dead so he was all I brought my attention to.
I remember it clearly. My mother, sister and I in our room in a normal, mechanical state and then the phone call.
I didn't pay much attention but then my mother spaces and starts sobbing and my sister just sits there. When the words hit my ears, NO...NO WAY. I mean he was sick when he left the States but he couldn't just die!!! It was Papi, he had so much for the world, he couldn't just be gone!!!
Oh Papi. I didn't even say goodbye. Did he have a proper burial, proper service? A good image and peace before he left the world? I have no clue.
If you can relate, then I'm so happy you were blessed with your very own special grandpa. Or grandma, and someone in your life you will never, ever, ever forgot.