Thursday, January 28, 2016

My Story: Oh Happy Day

This day is one of the happiest day of my life. I would even say that it was the first happy memory I can think of from my childhood. For you to understand I have to be honest and confess that my dad did five years in jail when I was a kid. From my understanding he got arrested a few days before I turned 2 years old and my brother being just a few days old for drugs. I'm assuming for selling it. He got sentenced to 5 years in prison and five years he did. I remember my mom taking my brother and I to visit him several times but nothing really stands out from the visits except that jails in DR are not like the ones here.

When we would visit him he would cook dinner for us. He made the best eggplant! I never ate eggplant unless he made it. He was a great cook. I remember we would go visit and it looked like a giant dirt field with very little grass. He'd take my brother and I for walks around "the field" and introduce us to his "friends" there. It was very weird now that I think about it. But I have to admit that it wasn't a scary and traumatizing experience as some would think it'd be.  

Fast forward to five years later. The happiest day of my life. 

It was late one evening. I know this because I remember the sun setting. My grandmother told me that she received a called from from dad saying that he was released from jail and he was on his way home. Again I don't remember specifics but recall her saying that he wanted me to wait for him at home (meaning her house) not to go anywhere. Granted that at 5 there was really no where for me to go. Either way I waited. And waited. And waited. I have no memory of where my mom and brother were at this point but I know my mom was not around the neighborhood because they were looking for her everywhere to tell her the good news. 

As I waited anxiously it got dark out. Usually in DR it doesn't get dark until after 8pm. Like summers in the States. Then the unexpected happened. The next door neighbor asked me to go to the Colmado (corner store) down the street. I explained that I was waiting for my dad so I couldn't go but she insisted I go that it wouldn't take long. And honestly it wasn't far I'd say a block if that. Now everyone knows that you must respect your elders and listen when they tell you to do something, especially in the Hispanic community, so as the shy and obedient girl that I was I went ahead and went to the store for her. And what do you know my dad showed up. He showed up and I missed it. He was looking for me and I had no idea he was home. 

On my way back I saw him from a distance and I'm pretty sure I teared up, or maybe I think I did. But I am sure as my name is Pamela that I ran toward him. I ran fast, as fast as I could screaming "Papi Papi Papi". He got down and opened his arms and I ran right into them. He hugged me tight and picked me up and said something that I will never forget. He said "I told you not to go anywhere that I was coming home". And although I felt bad for not waiting I was the happiest little girl on the planet at that precise moment. 

That was indeed the happiest day of my life.  

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