Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

October 31, 2018

October 2018 – Family Updates

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 9:44 pm


Dad Celebrates His 75th Birthday

Despite his sometimes gruff exterior, my dad is a sentimental guy. Slowly he has come into the modern age through the help of his smartphone, my mom (who helps him configure it), and the various apps he uses to communicate with his peeps back in his homeland. But his favorite app by far has to be WhatsApp — it is the app that pretty much our entire Chilean family uses to send messages and make old school phone calls. On his birthday, his day is typically filled with phone calls from friends and family. And being that he’s retired, he has the luxury of answering them all, relishing in the love he receives from his sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews. 

Sometimes I will see him tear up slightly, overcome by the emotion of it all — it’s a sentiment I recognize well. But, like life in general, and perhaps when well lived like my dad’s, it is not all tears. My dad and his friends clown each other and call each other names that, while meant to be fun-loving in Spanish, sound really harsh if you translate them to English. A favorite of mine is “Como estas bolsa de caca?” which literally means how are you, you bag of sh#t? My dad laughs a lot on these calls and so do I when I’m there to overhear them. We should all be so lucky as to experience a birthday that brings out such a wide range of emotions. I can tell you from seeing my dad, that it’s truly a wonderful way to spend the day.

It doesn’t stop there, of course. On the weekend of his 75th we had quite a few people out to celebrate at my parents’ house. Among them were my uncle Mario, my Tia Carmen and her daughter Angie, my Tia Vicky, Hector and Rosemary, and the youngsters -Luke, Sebastian, Nicholas and Mariella. All of us there to celebrate his special day and shower him with love.

Age 75 is definitely an emotional roller coaster though. By this age, tragedy is as much part of your life as happiness and joy, and, in a way, how you balance these different emotions determines the quality of your life in your later years. Tia Carmen and Tia Vicky are perfect examples. Five years ago, they both lost their husbands, Tio Miguel and Tio Luis (whom I wrote about here), in the same month. These were two larger than life men who always loved to joke and relished taking on the role of being the center of attention at any party they attended. I know it had to be beyond hard for these two sweet ladies to continue their life without their husbands, but here they were at my dad’s party, smiling, joking and participating in his special event. They are living examples and reminders to me that life still continues for the survivors of life tragedies, no matter how hard things may be at times. Really happy they are both still part of our lives. Tia Carmen used to take care of me when I was a toddler and Tia Vicky, who is still a driving instructor, taught Lilah how to drive and may be teaching Luke soon.

At this age, you can also take on the role of a surrogate father or uncle, something I was also able to observe in the loving way Tio Miguel’s daughters (Angie and Sandy) and granddaughter (Mariella) treated my dad. In a way, remaining close to someone who was tight with your loved one can provide you with a comfort that is hard to describe. Thank you for your kindness ladies! And thanks to everyone else who was there that night. It was because of you that my dad, who is famously known to fall asleep my 8:00 PM or earlier, stayed up well past his bedtime till around 12:30 AM, sustained on nothing more than some good food, a few cups of wine, and the warmth of all the souls who came out to make sure he still felt treasured and loved. What a night! 

Happy birthday papito!

More next month!


  1. Our dear son … we enjoy all of your writings…. but this one top it all..
    Thank you so much for your love. We are proud of you son.
    You tried to a knowledge so many people that gave you live and care since you were a little boy
    Among them “ la abuelita Raquel – tia Carmen – tia matti, we’re always so caring taking you places in which some of them you used to dance to the sound of the store music … you were the first born from dad’s group … so many wonderfu memories ….we love you dearly?????? We are so blessed as family??

    Comment by Mom — November 11, 2018 @ 5:26 am

  2. thanks mama…it’s just how i feel. love you too!

    Comment by dave9169 — November 11, 2018 @ 2:32 pm

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