Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Happy Tres de Noviembre!

November 3rd…it just doesn’t have the same ring when I say it in English. For everyone who was born in Panama, el tres de noviembre is a date that has tremendous resonance. The brain hears those little words together and the psyche reacts with national pride because it is Independence Day. 

My family’s psyche has an added reaction…this was my Father’s Birthday as well. Faded memories of the High School Band serenading my Dad at the crack of dawn dance in my mind as I turn in my bed this morning. Being miles away from the land that cradled me when I gave my first cry, intensifies the sting of his loss. I wrestle with the thoughts of a life that almost seem never lived…was it real, or did I imagine the whole thing?

Another tres de noviembre that I’m not there. Everything that once was my life is now all gone…and I’m left to wonder…standing in the loneliness of time and space, I cry alone. There’s no way around it…I miss my Dad and I don’t know if the sadness would ever stop. He was a gift…a gift to me…a gift from above…this is the third Birthday I don’t get to hear his voice on the phone. I know that, ever since I left Panama all those many years ago, though he knew it impossible, he always kept a secret hope I’d be able to come back home to celebrate his Birthday unexpectedly. Why not, after all, it’s a big holiday down there…but I never did.

Well, the time for regrets has come and gone, and today my heart finds comfort in the fact that he is now, truly home…with my Mom, the love of his life…and maybe one day I will get to see him again in the land of no more goodbyes.

In the meantime, happy tres de noviembre to all my brothers and sisters from Panama, and Happy Birthday Papa, wait for me, I will be coming home one of these days!

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