A Dance With My Father
By Loly Perez-Hinojosa,
My father, Luis, was a tough, hard working, wise and spiritual man with a great heart, soul and spirit. Every once in a while, he did blow his Cuban temper, but it was always with good intentions. He always wanted the best for all of us. His priority was always “la Familia.”
My father was my rock, and he made me the woman that I am today. He taught me to have respect for myself and others. He was so knowledgeable, expressive, and talkative — boy could he talk. He loved to have company over. He’d say: “Mariana, haz café para la visita.” And, the topic always ended in Cuba, what we left behind and the wonderful moments they all had shared.
A lover of nature and plants, our backyard was his little kingdom filled with fruit trees and all the traditional herbs of our island: tilo, mazanilla, yerba buena, ruda and many others. He smoked his “Cachimba” (his pipe) while watering and arranging his plants. And before the cachimba, it was cigars!
Not one day goes by that I don’t think of Papi. The smallest of things remind me of him, his Cuban sarcasm, jokes and “dicharachos,” which to date I still quote.
I miss my father, who passed away in 2007, but I know well that he still is watching over me and guiding me through life’s hurdles and keeping me safe.