My father died when I was five. I don't remember much of him but I do remember that he slept with one arm over his eyes. Also he gave the biggest hugs. After that the memories are gone.
Growing up we never saw much of my grandparents, my father's parents. They spoke very little English and we spoke very little Spanish. The language barrier was hard to break. This past week my grandpa passed away. I never got to know him. I couldn't tell you what type of grandpa he was. I have no idea if he was the interactive grandpa or if he was the reliable father figure in the corner. But what I can tell you is that in my heart I mourned the loss of him. The loss was also for the grandpa I never knew. The loss was also for the regret I felt from not allowing myself to step out of comfort zone and forget about the language barrier.
Through this loss I am learning a lot about myself. I'm learning to understand that I have no idea who my father was. He was so young when he passed away that I wonder if he knew who he was. My aunts will tell you that my brother is the spitting image of our father, my sister is a good mixture of both my mother and father (she has my mother's looks and my father's attitude) but where am I in this mixture? What did he pass onto me? How am I apart of him? How can I look at my son someday and say that was from your Papa Cesar?
So you can say that by losing my grandpa I'm just now starting to mourn the loss of my father. How you can mourn someone you never knew doesn't sound right...but maybe I'm mourning the fact that I didn't get enough time with him. Maybe I'm mourning what could have been. And I know I'm mourning the fact that my dad will never be able to interact with his grandson.
I was blessed with a great father. One who didn't have to be. One who chose to be my father. And I wouldn't give him up for the world. But I still do wish I could have known Cesar. I wish I had a little bit more time with him.