Missing My Superman

Hey you guys I decided to share with you some content I worked on for another site. It’s officially been published on their end https://pickleandpoppet.uk/share-your-story-quirky-girl/ . But I thought that some of you guys would like to read it as well.

                        Missing My Superman

I’ve never really talked about this part of my life much, apart from two close associates/friends I confided in. Not from embarrassment but more as protecting him. He could do no wrong and by him, I mean Papi. My Papi was something special and I am deeply saddened to this day on how our love affair ended. It was just my first pure love for a man. Our fathers are our first male figures in our lives.

I have always had a strained relationship with my maternal relatives, meaning my mother and grandmother. So, at a young age all I had was him and my grandfather, but it’s no one really like your actual father. The time I spent with him I was in awe. From the fishing trips or him leaving me and my brother alone. Or watching him hide money in his house from himself, I loved his bedroom he had Santé María statues all over his closet floor with coins. My mom would yell at me not to touch none of the figurines but I wasn’t scared, that was his culture so it was mines.

He would come get us Friday and drop us off Sunday at my mom’s those days was the highlight of my life.

But then trials and tribulations came to swallow me up. I was in middle school walking home one day and I got hit by a car trying to cross over to the other side. I immediately fainted, but you could not have told me that I didn’t die for those minutes when I was out.

I had even urinated all over myself in the middle of the street. I guess the impact of the hit was hard. I woke up in the hospital to see my mother’s face, I immediately cried. I don’t know why really but now that I am older I see it was the beginning of a sequence of events in my life. At first everyone was doting on me but the maternal relatives i.e. mother /grandmother started back with their emotional abuse they had often bestowed on me in my childhood.

The one escape I always had was my Papi and he was there to rescue me where I felt love and blissful happiness.

But now I can see that he was different during that time, as if something was going on with him. Me being a child I guess it didn’t surface in my mind that my superman had his own battles he was facing. Right before my life changed he tried to get my mother approval to allow me and my brother to visit Cuba with him. My mother of course said no, but maybe she wasn’t all the way wrong in that situation. During those days you heard nothing but bad about Castro regime and Elian Gonzalez situation didn’t make Cuba look any better.

He gave my mother a gift for me which it was this gold heart necklace.

I wore that chain until my neck was too big for it. I just thought he wanted to buy his daughter a gift of love.

Then he lost his job as butcher, at a store he had been working at forever. I was so happy when my mom took him to the store by our house I felt like if he worked there we would be closer to each other.

Those last days no one I guess paid much attention to his coughs or beautiful hair getting thin.

Then came the days where we stop seeing him also no calls and then my mother really got worried when no money showed up. She packed all us in her car to go see him and see what was going on. She knocked and knocked but no one came to the door. My Papi stayed in and predominantly Hispanic neighbourhood so many of the neighbours didn’t speak English.

But one of them saw us out there that day and manage to somehow let us know he was in the hospital. We were still in the car so I never knew the full conversation only that the paramedics had come for him. So, my mom took that information and she found where he was at in a few days. She just said he was sick and we were going to visit him Tuesday and no much information to follow. I was so excited but sad because I never saw him sick before.

We brought him gifts I wrote a poem for him to make him feel better.

For some reason, when I walked into the place he was at something came over me and it was such an eerie feeling. The man I saw was only a skeleton of the man I knew. He was so frail and had the blankets pulled all the way to his neck. I just felt like something wasn’t being said.

But my mother promised we would see him again Friday and I couldn’t wait. That morning of I woke up at 3:30am in a cold sweat like an outer body experience. Friday came and I was sitting in home economics when my teacher said you’re going home early. I look shocked and confused, I never went home early. I walked downstairs to the office and met my brother as we headed to meet our mother. I was naively saying am so glad we are going home early.

My brother stopped me and told me Papi is dead, that’s why we are going early.

I was pissed at him how dare he say such a thing. The ride home was so long and quiet my mother didn’t say much only to go change and come back in the living room. I obeyed and waited on the couch for her to come out but she took forever. My grandmother kept staring at me asking me was I okay and did I have a good day.

But all I had was question marks in my head. My granddad came rushing in the house and busts out in tears stating am so sorry he died. I just immediately screamed and ran in my room and close the doors and threw a fit.  Everyone ran after me to hug me and tell me it’s going to be ok.  When I had calm down somewhat  I went back out to the living room and watched my mother and listened to her say he had passed away early that morning.

I really don’t know how I managed to go about life afterwards.

I shut down and was to myself a lot. I pretended that he was on vacation and I will see him soon. It was announced he was dead and that was it. He never had a proper funeral because of finances and his arrangements was left to his last wife, blah. I felt all the adults dropped the ball big time and didn’t think about who he was leaving behind.

My superman was given a government burial cremated and is where no one knows. I asked my mother when I was older what happened with his remains. She couldn’t give me no solid answer. I know that still hurts me that she allowed for that to happened to him without doing something. We have been estranged for a while but deep down in the roots I know I haven’t forgiven her for not making sure he was given a proper funeral and not a government burial.

From his passing I learned some valuable lessons that stick to my core.

I learned what love is and what it’s not. I learned we live to die and that AIDS doesn’t care who it takes. I learned what he really died from when my brother overheard the grownups talking. I’d heard about it and researched it. I am not gone to lie I was ashamed to tell people how he died because in those days it wasn’t talked about and if it was, it wasn’t a good conversation.

I don’t know what age I was when I stopped being ashamed of it because I realised by me feeling that way I am in apart ashamed of him. He deserves so much more than that, I couldn’t care less how he left this earth because the love he had given me I have yet to find the same.

So yes, February 9, 2001 my superman passed away from complications of AIDS.
With his death brought years of hurt, depression and longing for something that didn’t exist anymore. Even though I feel I never got that closure he will always be the pillar of strength I need to get me through those hard times. I am still missing my superman.

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