I’m never ready for the flood of emotions when something reminds me of him. Last time, a light vanilla scent wafted past and there he was, sitting in his favorite chair, talking and smiling around the pipe in his teeth. His chair sits in my living room, a last reminder of him. Sometimes I curl up in it, just to smell him again.
Today, I wandered through our local farmers’ market, chattering to Talia about the produce, “Look, mija! Avocados, tomatoes, hojas de plátano!” It was a perfect day: a clear sky, a warm sun, a light breeze, and the strums of a guitar in the air. I pushed Talia’s stroller through the market, looking for the source of the music. He stood near the front of the market, guitar case open in front of him, singing with such passion that I had to listen.
And I’m in the restaurant, as Papi performs for the patrons; I’m at the beach, where he plays for my friends; I’m in our living room, when he sings to make me happy again.
I crouched down to Talia: “Look, mija, la guitarra! Do you remember Abuelo played one?” Her hand touched my face, “¿Mamá, triste?” I’m so much more than sad. He won’t see her first day of school, her quinceanera, her wedding. She’ll never know his tenderness, his humor, his never ending support. My angel will never know my champion; mi hija will never know mi papi.