La Feria News

Tribute to Mom and Dad

Dear editor,

I remember as an 11-year-old, seventh grader I was on the verge of exploring a new horizon, junior high. As an adolescent, time seemed to pass so slowly, patience was never a virtue of the young. I was mature for my age and I was beginning to change my attitudes about life, religion and my social life (girls, etc.). My independence, being able to drive or go on a date by myself seemed a long way off. My parents would tell me not to worry, all those things would come in time. I shouldn’t be in a hurry. What did they know anyway? If I had a question they usually had an answer. Most of the time, I didn’t like their response but okay they were usually right. They helped guide me through new experiences because they were older, real old it seemed. I just couldn’t wait to grow up.

I recall the hard times we endured as a family working in the fields during the long hot summer months of our youth. My father and mother working at whatever jobs were available during the school year but always feeling that we never lacked anything so long as we were together. During the winter months when I would run home from school, my mother would be there preparing food for us. The house was always warm and comforting. This was home.

I also remember the strength that my father had when he would pick me up as a young boy after I had fallen and the strong hugs that my mother would give me. As I grew out of my teen years, life became more complicated and my parents began to get a little smarter. That sort of caught me by surprise. I began to rely on their experience and wisdom. I took their advice more to heart once I was married and it proved invaluable to me and my new family. Life has a way of throwing unexpected curves that can change many if not all future plans. I grew ill and had to have major surgery at the age of 32. Due to a surgeon’s mistake, my spinal cord was severed and I was paralyzed from the neck down. I never intended to have my parents take care of me for the next 27+ years. The last thing I wanted was to be a burden to them or anyone else.

Those strong hands and arms I once knew now are weak and sometimes tremble. Those strong legs that used to chase me in play and sometimes anger, now shuffle across the floor. But even at their age(82) they still are here to help in any way they can. I often wish they could have a BENJAMIN BUTTON moment and get younger. Their unconditional love has helped me carry on through the pain I feel each day. They often remind me through their actions that living is much harder than dying and I have to endure and do all I can for my family.

Throughout our youth my parents had tried to instill in us (my siblings and me) virtues that we could use in our everyday lives. My mother taught us about compassion, love and faith. My father taught us about strength, loyalty, and honor. Together they taught us to accept our responsibilities and to respect others. I hope my children have learned these virtues from them and from us as well. I had hoped to someday have done something that was worthy of the faith they had in all of us.

Perhaps there is still time but before it is too late I wanted to thank my parents, Emilia and Genaro Castillo. Mom and Dad I can never express how grateful I am to you both for all you have done for me and my family. I love you very much.

Your son,

Did you like this? Share it: