Feb 24, 2016


Father & Daughter in Panama
Rogelio and Elena 

Today is February 24th, 2016.  My Dad's 90th Birthday. 

Every day since his passing in January of 2003, I've missed him. He was a significant influence on my life and a wonderful, loving, kind and caring Father.  He truly loved his children. I know he missed my MOM everyday for the rest of his life after she died at the age of 45, in May of 1974.  

I never asked him, I wish maybe I would have.  How did he manage, how did they both manage? Her diagnosis from day one, Stage 4 ovarian cancer.  Both of them being medical professionals, they knew exactly what that meant. 

I don't know how a Mother of 5 children manages ? I don't care how much morphine is administered in the end of life stage, the pain and anguish and despair, unthinkable. 

My DAD became Mom and Dad for 29 years, from 1974 to 2003.  The love for his children and grandchildren, the hallmark of his life.  

He deeply cared about us, our futures, our happiness, our lives overall. He was a simple man.  He was quiet, reserved. When he wanted to be social and be part of the party, he could.  He loved to cook, something I'm sure he got from his Mom, our Grandma Chichi. 

He loved for us to be together, family weekends, family trips. When he knew his was dying, he asked my sister, Ana, to make sure we all stayed together, that we spent time together as we had done with visits to Barstow, trips to Europe and visits to Panama. 

He thoroughly enjoyed his time with his grandchildren, JoAnn and Rogelio IV.  I remember at his house in Panama he had a stash of toys and coloring books and crayons for the grandchildren visits. He shared a myriad of Gustavo, The Purple Goat stories with Rogelio IV when he was a toddler.  Little Roger was always mesmerized looking deep into his Grandpa's eyes as the story developed.  Grandpa would run his fingers along little Roger's forearm, describing in detail the steps the goat was taken up the side of a hill, or down some rocky mountain. Little Roger especially loved that, he was always tickled and he would laugh and smile. 

Below is the link to the Birthday Tribute video posted on YOUTUBE. 

Yesterday I had to rip out all the music, the copyright lockdown on Youtube is now very strict.  The video is 15 minutes long and best viewed on a large screen. If you have a tablet you should be able to see on tablet devices also.  It will not play on a smart phone. If you have any questions, send me an email. 

If you watch the movie imagine the soundtrack with Unforgettable by Nat King Cole and Contingo Aprendi, a beautiful Spanish ballad by Armando Manzanero, It's a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong and one of my Mom's all time favorites, Fly Me to The Moon, by Tony Bennett. 

Happy Birthday DAD 
I love you and I miss you everyday 

Panama, August 1995
Elena & Dad