Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Tata

While we were in Texas earlier this month my grandfather fell ill and passed away within a few days.  I was very upset and really torn because we had gone to Texas to visit Jeremiah's grandfather who has been sick and presumed that it would be our last time seeing him but while we were there my own grandfather passed away.  It was hard not being there in the hospital with all my family gathered around but I had just seen him days before we left and he looked good so I am comforted in knowing that my last images of him were happy and joyous.

My Tata was so many things to me, he was...
  • the maker of great pancakes 
  • the mexican cook who taught me to make so make delicious mexican family recipes
    • chorizo
    • salsa
    • tamales
    • menudo
  • a babysitter
  • a chauffer (in highschool he drove us around before we had a car)
  • a Zoo trip (our grandparents took us to the zoo every other week as children)
  • a trip to the fair (I only remember ever going to the fair with my grandparents)
  • a Texan (born and raised in San Antonio)
  • a great husband, a loving dad and a wonderful Grandfather/Tata
He and my grandmother took care of us until about the 5th grade and then most summers after that till about college.  He was a huge part of my life and I will miss him so much but I will also have so many memories.  In these last few years I really started to reminice on my memories of both my grandparents.  Especially when I would go pick them up and take them to their doctor appointments and I would remember all the times they took me when I was sick.  It went from them caring for me to me walking them in, checking them in and then going in to listen to the doctors and report back to my mother.  It is funny how life changes and roles switch.

In his life he saw so much, he was one of 12 siblings who grew up poor in San Antonio, Texas before Texas was part of the US.  He was married to my grandmother for over 63 years and had 3 children, 9 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.  He joined the Navy during WWII and fought off the shores of Vietnam and Korea and was a survival training camp instructor to the Navy pilots.  He and my mothers family lived in the Philippines in the 60's and he was instrumental in starting the survival training camp there.  Later when he retired from the Navy he joined the Border Patrol where he worked until the late 70's when he became a full time stay at home TATA and helped to raise not only me, my sister and my brother but my cousin Sarah.  He loved to take us to the zoo or the Wild Animal Park and pack us home made fried chicken and macaroni salad with juice boxes.  We had so much fun as children with him and I will miss him so so much.