Pages

August 28, 2010

Ensenada, Mexico

When she was ten years old, her parents were divorced. Her father wasn't living with them very much the past couple years and when he was home, he was drinking with his buddies. Two or three of his friends would drop by when they felt like it and ignore the fact that there was a wife and two kids living there. The men would pour beer down the cat's throat and set its tail on fire. The jeering wasted little boys were impersonating grown men.

Right after the divorce she was informed that her father had remarried. But in a year he had divorced his second wife and married a young nightclub dancer who lived in Ensenada, Mexico.

It wasn't until she graduated from high school and was married herself that she and her husband moved back to southern California. They spent weekends driving to Ensenada to see her father. The young couple would sleep on her father's fishing boat while he stayed with his wife and their little girl in an apartment in town.

Her father had many friends in Ensenada. The wives took her under their wing and taught her to cook good Mexican dishes. They spoke only Spanish so she dusted off her two years of high school Spanish and made friends with them, accepting their tutelage in cooking and their good natured advice on keeping her new husband.

Most weekend nights she and her husband spent walking behind her father as he roamed from bar to bar, sometimes stopping in to watch the exotic dancing his wife performed.

When she became pregnant, she and her husband stopped going to Ensenada on weekends and began preparing for their first child. Not long after their child was born her father divorced his second wife, remarried his second wife and they moved to Chapala, Mexico. It was many years later that she saw her father again on the occasion of her first child's high school graduation. By that time her father's daily drinking and three pack a day cigarette smoking habit had taken its toll. He could not be without his oxygen tank. The emphysema had progressed to where he fought for each breath but he continued to smoke three packs of unfiltered Camels every day. He flew to be in town for the graduation of her daughter and also her nephew but her father was unable to attend the ceremonies. He lasted two more years. He was found sitting at his kitchen table with his face in his food. He was 64 years old.

Photo is of my father next to his fishing boat. He was 45 years old in the picture. I wonder if my brother has this picture. I doubt it. It surprises me how much my brother looks like our father. My brother is older now that our father was when he died.

40 comments:

Opaque said...

This is sad...

Dave King said...

That is one heart-rending story. Gripping and moving, made all the more so by the factual style of the telling. Beautifully done.

anne h said...

I love the way you tell a story.
Even a tragic one.
Love ya, TechnoBabe!

Brian Miller said...

what a sad tale techno...i wonder what was in him that he kept moving away from...and going back to the bottle...

Momma Fargo said...

Very sad. You paint a picture with your words. Very beautiful writing.

Jeanie said...

It is sad that in destroying his own life he hurt so many other lives along the way.

Kulio said...

How does it feel to tell the story? I think you are a strong woman.

Sabi Sunshine said...

Very emotional ...you have a very unique way to write stories..

Love
Sunshine

DJan said...

It's so heartbreaking to see someone you love and want to know better kill themselves like this. But you told his story and it hurts me to read it... but I appreciate that you did. He had such potential, looking at that picture.

Kristina P. said...

How sad. I guess some fond memories came from that experience, however.

Mama Zen said...

That is truly sad.

Robert the Skeptic said...

My father was a three-packs-a-day smoker. He would wake up in the morning, and immediately cough his guts out. With that done and sitting on the edge of the bed, he would have his first cig of the day. My father was an alcoholic as well. I have already lived longer than he has.

Fragrant Liar said...

A truly tragic tale. I'm sorry for your loss, especially way back when he left you guys.

And that part about lighting the cat on fire ... well, that's the sort of thing that enrages me.

Maggie May said...

That was a sad account and your father looked so handsome.
You are a brilliant writer & know how to draw your readers in.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

TALON said...

Telling the story in the third-person makes it even more gut-wrenching, TechnoBabe. It's tragic the fallout from addictions in all their forms...

LL Cool Joe said...

What a sad story, that's no age at all. I hope by telling this story, in some way it's helped you? Sometimes I find that when we reveal some parts of our lives that are very painful, if we don't get the support afterwards we need, it can leave us feeling exposed.

Pseudo said...

the sins of our fathers....

I was right there behind you in Ensenada. O used to go there in the late 70's, before moving to Hawaii.

Jingle said...

sad,
you father looks handsome.
Happy Saturday!

secret agent woman said...

That's a great photo, although it surprised me to hear he was only 45. But my father and his father before him walked the same path of heavy drinking and declining health. It is sad.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

A very sad story. I'm sorry it turned out that way, and for all your losses concerning him during your life.

Betty said...

You´ve had many hardships in your life. I´m sure it was hard watching your dad suffer like that.
All we can do, is make a better effort with our own life. All the best!

Jerry said...

A tragic tale -- and I read it as a well honed tale until it hit me that is a true story. Yes, I'm slow sometimes....most of the time.

It amazes me that some are completely oblivious of their influence on others. The lesson is, what we do, counts.

Hopefully your thoughts in writing this has helped settle some thing with you.

Warm wishes.

Shadowthorne @ Ramzu Zahini said...

... my uncles, my late father's middle and youngest brothers also succumbed to the illness of cigarettes. Both died young, without ever getting the chance to watch their children get married.
I smoke rarely, and only for medicinal purposes...

Stickup Artist said...

You have such an honesty, it is almost heartbreaking. I'm glad you and your brother have broken the chain of suffering. It's not easy to do as you know. Often these patterns play out generation after generation. That's why, to me, this story is an uplifting one of personal triumph.

Hilary said...

Such a heartbreaking story. I hope your father realized what a wonderful daughter he had.

Unknown Mami said...

So sad.

Kazzy said...

Gripping and heartbreaking. Sheesh, I had a great childhood. Seriously.

Cinner said...

Techbabe, very sad story, I love how you tell a story too. and for some reason I just want to give you a hug. hugs.

Sassy Pants Freckle Face said...

All I have is hugs, *HUGS*

CherylK said...

You are remarkable. I can tell that you loved your father despite his many shortcomings and that says so much about you. Telling that story took courage. I'm proud of you.

The Urban Cowboy said...

I wonder what demons had him continually going to the bottle, so to speak. A sad tale.

Shrinky said...

So much hurt there, told without a shred of sentimentality (hugs). Keep writing hon, you do it well. Sad we are never given the choice of whom our parents are. We ARE given the choice of what parents we turn out to be, and I know you chose well on that front.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

Sad commentary...but as you tell these stories it solidifies the strong woman you have become

Ed Pilolla said...

he sounds like a charismatic man with demons in his life in the form of his addictions. it's tough to see someone ruin himself, but he must have been a strong man to carry those addictions to age 64. it's tough to have addictions and tough to see those we love suffer while they watch us struggle with our addictions.

Syd said...

I am really sorry that he didn't find a solution. I have to say that I love that boat. What a beauty! Hard to find boats like that anymore.

KleinsteMotte said...

The struggle to define ourselves and understand our past seems to help. You have truly tried and given us a glimpse as you move along. Thank you.

deb said...

honoured you shared this ,
hope you find continued healing and closure

Joanna Jenkins said...

Your father was a handsome guy. I sorry you lsot him so young.
xo jj

Life with Kaishon said...

Tragic.
I'm sorry for your loss. Heartbreaking.

Marla said...

Oh Techno.....so very, very sad. The most amazing part of this story to me, is your unconditional love.