I wasn’t planning on writing today. As a matter of fact, if anything, I was going to start a blog on riding in the heat, but as I logged into Facebook this morning and posted Happy Father’s Day, I immediately became teary-eyed and realized I had to write about my Father.
My “old man” as I use to call him, is no longer with me. He fought hard against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and in my book, he kicked both in the ass. Because of my “old man,” one of the characteristics I inherited from him was being mentally and physically strong, sometimes, that includes stubbornness. Actually, it’s most of the time, who am I kidding? My Father had a never give up attitude, and he even proved that during the last few weeks of his life.
My Father did not teach me how to ride motorcycles, as a matter of fact, he hated the idea at first. When I got my first motorcycle, he saw it one day in the garage and I lied to him and told him it belonged to a friend. Trust me, Cuban Fathers even in their 70’s are intimidating. I still joke I am afraid of screwing up, because when I get to Heaven, my “old man” will be there waiting for me with his arms crossed and is going to ask “did I raise you like that?”
Eventually, two more bikes ended up in the garage that did belong to friends so I told him I was charging storage fees. Eventually, he pulled me aside and told me he was not an idiot. I confessed. He wasn’t a fan of my new hobby, but he supported it. It wasn’t long before that, that my Father started asking me what rides I was taking and where I was going.
I never had a hobby or passion like motorcycle riding or golf that I shared with my “old man,” except for maybe baseball, but as I got older, I lost interest in baseball and other sports as well. Although, I do look back with fond memories the experiences I shared with my Father watching the Florida Marlins win two World Series titles. We went to every playoff and World Series game.
My Father was an emotional man (another inherited trait), and got teary eyed not only on Opening Day because he thought he would never see baseball in Miami, but as well when the Marlins won the World Series in ’97 and 2003.
While my Father watches me from above, there are certain memories that will never leave me. One, when I was a kid and I was obsessed with baseball, my “old man” would come home tired from work but when I said let’s play catch, he changed his clothes and we would go to the backyard. In his left hand he had his glove and with his right hand he swung the bat to hit ground balls to me. I’ll also never forget how when I graduated from law school he came up to me crying and said he was proud of me.
Nowadays, when I jump on my bike, I always touch my Gremlin Bell with my right boot and I whisper “please take care of me and all who ride.” Then I whisper to my “old man;” ‘let’s go for a ride.’
Happy Father’s Day.
My Old Man at the Stadium Dugout on Fan Day for the Marlins
Now that is a bbq!!!! Is that Schlitz?
Pimping and having a good time somewhere