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Papa Pablo

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Growing up, I had two lives one with my adopted parents ( to whom I owe everything I am and have), and another with my biological family which consist of my Mom, two brothers, a sister, Grandpa(Papa Pablo) and Aunt Yanira (Grandpa youngest child) .

My Parents as I refer to my adopted parents, they are like angels in my life. They knew my mom for a long time and cared for her like a daughter. When my biological father left my mom with four children they offered my mom that they would take me in and help with my other siblings. They have three boys all grown up and they always wanted a daughter but they could never had one. So that's how I got in this wonderful family, they always let me share time with my mom and brothers and visit grandpa.

Papa Pablo is person that had the most impact in my life, because he gave us the love, protection that our biological father never gave us. When we were at his house, or in his presence, and when he smile at us I had a feeling that nothing bad would ever happen because he would take care of it and would not let anyone hurt us.

My parents always let me spend some weekends with my mom and siblings, and the best time for us, was when we would go and visit "Papa Pablo". He was the father of my biological father, and the only one in that family that treated us as family; and loved us as if we were his own children.

I remember, how all of us would get so excited every time that mom would takes us to grandpa's for the weekend. It was not a short way to get there, but we loved it all. We had to travel by bus one hour; then we had to walk for about 1 hour and 30 minutes in the countryside. If we were lucky enough my parents would drive us there or someone that knew my mom or grandpa would give us a lift to his house; but if not we walked all the way to his house. We would never regret that long walk, because for us it was a big excitement to go visit grandpa.

Grandpa's house was located at the top of a mountain; but to get to that mountain, we had to go through about three mountains. Most of the way in between coffee tree plantations, so the air is very fresh, and in any season, you get surround it by the sounds of birds.

Papa Pablo was usually sitting at the front porch, in a white chair or lying in his hammock with his feet hanging in the air. The dogs would bark and he would lift his face to see the incoming; one thing that I miss the most is that bright smile that will illuminate his face every time he saw us. I cannot recall a time that grandpa will not smile when he saw us. He would get up and run to us, and hug us so hard one by one. Then he usually put one arm around mom and the other around me, since I was the tallest one of the children. The next think he will say is "Munda, Kill a chicken for my children and give them something to drink" (Munda was grandpa's wife, not my grandma; they had divorce and remarried again).

After welcoming us, and hugging us repeatedly for a while; he would gives a treat from the little grocery store that he ran at his house. While his wife and my mom would cook the chicken and talk to grandpa; my sister, brothers and I would play soccer with grandpa's old soccer ball on the street in front of the house. Sometimes he would stop talking to my mom to cheer for our game. And sometimes, he would play with us. It was fun when he played with us, but we suffered a lot if we got in his way because one thing that grandpa would never take off except to sleep were his cowboy boots. And Oh lord! I think the four of us (my siblings and I) got a scar from those boots due to him kicking us while playing. We always got tired before he did, after a really good game we all would sit on the ceramic floor on the porch with grandpa sitting in the middle with his arms around us.

To all of us (my mom and siblings) Grandpa was the one that kept us together, if my brothers were not behaving he just needed to give them "the talk", and they would straighten up. I remember that whenever they misbehaved and mom told them "I will have to talk to your grandfather about this", they would promise not to do it again. To all of us



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